Science - 2018-19

LS.11 - Ecosystems & Human Activity

The student will investigate and understand the relationships between ecosystem dynamics and human activity. Key concepts include

a) food production and harvest;

b) change in habitat size, quality, or structure;

c) change in species competition;

d) population disturbances and factors that threaten or enhance species survival; and

e) environmental issues.

Bloom's Levels:  Analyze; Understand

Adopted: 2010


  • Both human activities and natural events can have major impacts on the environment.

  • I can explain how farming both helps and harms the environment.
  • I can explain how building a new housing development impacts animal populations.
  • I can explain how building a new school can impact water quality.


  • Ecosystems are dynamic systems. Humans are a natural part of the ecosystem. Humans use the ecosystem to meet their basic needs, such as to obtain food.
  • Human interaction can directly alter habitat size, the quality of available resources in a habitat, and the structure of habitat components. Such interactions can be positive and/or negative.
  • Human input can disturb the balance of populations that occur in a stable ecosystem. These disturbances may lead to a decrease or increase in a population. Since populations in an ecosystem are interdependent, these disturbances have a ripple effect throughout the ecosystem.
  • The interaction of humans with the dynamic ecosystem may lead to issues of concern for continued ecosystem health in areas such as water supply, air quality, energy production, and waste management.


In order to meet this standard, it is expected that students will

a)  describe the relationship between human food harvest and the ecosystem.

b)  compare and contrast population disturbances that threaten and those that enhance species survival.

describe ways that human interaction has altered habitats positively and negatively.

c)  identify examples of ecosystem dynamics.

d)  observe the effect of human interaction in local ecosystems and collect, record, chart, and interpret data concerning the effect of interaction (from observations and print and electronic resources).

design an investigation from a testable question related to the relationships between ecosystem dynamics and human activity. The investigation may be a complete experimental design or may focus on systematic observation, description, measurement, and/or data collection and analysis.

analyze and critique the experimental design of basic investigations related to the relationships between ecosystem dynamics and human activity.

e)  debate the pros and cons of human land use versus ecosystem stability.


habitat, air quality, pollution

Updated: Jun 29, 2018