Make Observations Use your senses to notice the environment around you.
Define the Problem Our problem is the mismanagement of riparian zones in the Atlanta area.
State a Hypothesis A hypothesis is a testable idea or explanation that leads to a scientific investigation.
How does the immediately adjacent terrestrial ecosystem have a direct effect on the riparian zone? The Following Three Hypothesis are associated with Supporting Question #1:
Possible Hypothesis Associated with Supporting Question #1 Possible Hypothesis 1)Plants in the riparian zone area contribute to the health of the riparian zone.
2) There is no evidence of erosion of the riparian zone area. 3) There is no evidence of runoff (from agriculture, roadways or household waste) in the riparian zone area. Possible Hypothesis Associated with Supporting Question #1
The Following Three Hypothesis are associated with Supporting Question #2: Does the riparian ecosystem have a direct effect on the immediately adjacent aquatic ecosystem?
1) Animals in the stream are indicators of a healthy (unpolluted) stream. 2) There are no nitrates or phosphates present in the water samples from the stream. 3) There is no evidence of sedimentation in the stream. Possible Hypothesis Associated with Supporting Question #2
Design the experiment to pinpoint cause & effect relationships Experiment
Variable – the factor of interest Experiment Group – receives the treatment Control Group – does not receive the treatment The Vocabulary of Experiments
Collecting & Analyzing Data Data may be qualitative (expressed with words) Or quantitative (expressed with numbers). You may collect both types of data during one experiment.
Examples of data you may collect: Water samples Identification of aquatic, riparian & terrestrial plants & animals indicative of presence or absence of pollution Examination of riparian zones for erosion or other signs of degradation
Examine your data Discuss the findings with your team Make a decision concerning the correctness of your hypothesis Draw Conclusions
Use graphs, written reports and pictures to communicate your findings. You will do this with your team during a triboard presentation at the end of Fall semester. Communicating Results
How to Asses Your Hypothesis You may find the following slides helpful to you as you make a decision to accept or reject your hypothesis.
Indicators of an Unhealthy Riparian Zone 1.Low water table (level) 2. Low forage production (food) for fish and wildlife 3. Little shade-Warm water 4. Poor fish habitat-Poor water quality 5. Low wildlife habitat diversity
Indicators of an Unhealthy Riparian Zone (cont.) 6. Little vegetation & roots to help protect and stabilize banks 7. Significant erosion of stream banks and shorelines 8. Repeated dredging of ditches, streams, and reservoirs 9. Reduced late summer stream flows. 10. Decreased riparian property values.