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Teaching Tropical Rainforest Biology

Narrative Index

To begin the presentation on tropical rainforest ecology, you can read the following Narrative Index that provides links to the main topics in the discussion, proceed to the table of contents, or begin with an introduction to tropical rainforests.

George Sly, a Biology teacher at Union High School in Dugger, Indiana, presents a review for teachers and students of several issues dealing with tropical rainforest ecology. Destruction of tropical rainforests is currently a topic of much interest and importance. Although the causes of the deforestation are varied and complex, it is clear that the loss of these forests is of great concern since they contain much of the earth’s biodiversity. Within this diverse assemblage of organisms is found many edible and medicinal plants and remarkable animal adaptations. In addition, the tropical rainforests are home to many indigenous people who depend on these forests for their survival.

The conservation of these forests is one of the most difficult, yet important, environmental challenges facing human society. As educators, we can make an impact. Awareness of tropical rainforest ecology is a starting point. Suggestions for a teaching unit on this subject are included here. Also included are suggestions pertaining to classroom activities which may help to promote rainforest conservation. Sources of information on tropical rainforests such as Internet links, books, videotapes and CD ROM’s are also provided.

Many feel that ecotourism is one way that concerned individuals, or groups, can contribute to tropical rainforest conservation. For those interested in actually visiting the tropical rainforest, information is provided in the sections entitled Ecotourism and Rainforest Travel.


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