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The unit is intended for high school juniors and seniors in a year-long environmental science elective, and for juniors and seniors in an honors anatomy and physiology elective. For the environmental science students, I intend the unit to raise topics relating to groundwater contamination, the threatened loss of biological diversity, land management, and risks to human health. For the anatomy and physiology students, the unit will introduce subjects that lead to further study of environment/human health problems. My primary purpose in developing the unit, however, is to show all my students how they might undertake a broad-based investigation into a contemporary environmental issue.
The classroom activities which are presented in the unit follow from the development of an historical narrative about Coto Do‘ana, the name for this long time nature preserve, and they include cultural, ecological, environmental, and land management components. Students' research skills are developed in an attempt to develop an understanding of a complex set of issues. The unit considers the geography of Spain, the historical and cultural heritage of Andalucia Province, the biogeographical province in which Do‘ana is found, and the legal protections that are afforded Do‘ana by national governance and international designation.
(Recommended for Environmental Science and Honors Anatomy and Physiology, grades 11-12.)