Looking for turtles
This means that they will have to do some habitat mapping and abundance surveys in addition to the actual capturing of turtles. When we do catch turtles, they take all of their measurements and tag the turtle. They are also examining the plastron (chest) of the turtle to see if it is concave, convex, or flat. A concave (sunken in) plastron means that the turtle is unhealthy or not getting enough food, a turtle with a flat plastron is eating enough, but is said to just be in "fair" condition, and a turtle with a convex plastron is a fat and happy turtle.
For any recaptures, we take all of the same data we took initially, but we add on the plastron examination. We measure their carapace (top of their shell), take their weight, and note any abnormalities.
At the end of the semester, the students are required to give presentations to their peers and their parents about the work that they did. This requires them to interpret data and draw conclusions! We haven't collected enough data yet to begin the analyses, but I'm excited to see what they come up with!!
What was your favorite class in high school? Do you like to give presentations?