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Ashlynne Hobcroft​, ​Cole Giresi, ​Erin Travis,​ ​Richard Kuntz,​ ​Ashley Gontram,​ ​Maxine Kooper

APES Final Project


Final Portfolio due 5/29
This final project will count as your final exam grade which is 20% of your overall
course grade. You will be conducting a service learning project that utilizes concepts from the
CollegeBoard’s AP Course Outline for Environmental Science along with the WE organization.
The completed project will be scored by Mrs. Norris based upon the provided ​Recognition
Rubric​.
This focus of this project is The Loss of Biodiversity. You will be addressing ways to
combating biodiversity loss on a local level and a global level through direct service, indirect
service or advocacy. You accomplish this through the following process:
● You will work in groups of 4-6
● You will have portions of the project that will be completed jointly as a group however,
each individual​ will be responsible for submitting ​their own ​portfolio. You are
encouraged to submit portions of their portfolio as they are completed.
● Portfolios will include (See portfolio checklist)
○ Learning activities/investigations
○ Personal reflections
○ Action plans
○ Hours Log​ - Must print this and fill out COMPLETELY
■ Each​ student must keep a log of the time you spend on this project. Your
time from the log must support that each individual spent at least 20 hours
working on the projects. This may include in class work time.
■ This log must include the following:
● Group meetings and discussion including
○ The names of the members meeting or working (that may
be just one person in some cases).
○ The date of the meeting/work.
○ The amount of time spent on the meeting/work.
○ What work or decisions were completed during this time.
○ Any concerns about the project.
○ What will be accomplished by the next meeting/what is
your next step.
○ Analysis of quantitative data
● Evidence of your service...this may include but is not limited to the
following
○ pictures
○ pledges for donations
○ emails
○ statistics of people who saw your app/site
○ thank you notes

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○ requests for use of room, tables, etc
○ other documentation......
Portfolio Checklist
**All Reflection Assignments and the Hours Log are completed individually. **
Assignment Due Date Grade

Lesson 1: Biodiversity Loss and Service

Reflection 1​: Ted Talk - Pavan Sukhdev:Put a 5/14


Value on Nature!” Reflection

Lesson 2: Problem Tree Graphic Organizer

Reflection 2​: Problem Tree (Individual)


5/15
Lesson 3: Needs Assessment

Reflection 3​: Needs Assessment Reflection

Team Contract
5/17
Action Plan

Reflection 4​: Action Plan (Individual) 5/18

Reflection 5​: Taking Action (Individual) 5/25

Executive Summary (Group 500-1000 words)

Reflection 6:​ Final Individual Reflection (


400-500 words) 5/29

Hours Log​ (Mrs. Norris should sign off as hours


are completed)

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Investigation 1: Biodiversity and Service
A. Loss of Biodiversity
Use the information on ecosystem services and wetlands to define each type of service in Table
1, provide and example of the type of service, and describe how wetlands fulfill that type of
service.
https://www.nwf.org/Educational-Resources/Wildlife-Guide/Understanding-Conservation/Ecosy
stem-Services
Table 1
Types of Definition Example How do wetlands fulfill
Ecosystem this service?
Services

Provisioning Provisioning refers to Fruits, vegetables, trees, fish, Many of the fish that people
the benefits from the livestock, drinking water, rely on for a food source
ecosystem that can be timber, wood fuel, natural spend most of their life
removed from nature. gas, oils, plants that can be cycle in a wetland habitat.
made into useful materials
(clothes, medicine).

Regulation A type of benefiting Plants clean air and filter Wetlands maintain and
from the ecosystem that water, bacteria decomposes control flood waters.
moderate natural waste, bees pollinate flowers,
phenomena. and tree roots hold soil in
place. General examples
include pollination,
decomposition water
purification, erosion and flood
control.

Cultural A type of benefiting Comes from the interaction Trails are built surrounding
from the ecosystem is a from nature (music, art, and the wetlands in order to
non-material benefit architecture); as well as fulfill entertainment.
that helps aid in the recreation.
development and
advancement of people.
A cultural benefit helps
aid in the building of
knowledge and the
spreading of ideas.

Supporting The most fundamental Photosynthesis, nutrient Wetlands absorb chemicals


benefits from the cycling, air and water and nutrients from the
ecosystem. These are filtration, and the creation of water, allowing the wetland
specifically the natural soils are all examples of to act as a natural filtration
processes that the supporting benefits. system.
ecosystem performs.

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Using your definitions and examples in Table 1, brainstorm examples of how your local
ecosystems provide some of these same services. Describe the local ecosystem in the second
column and provide an explanation as to how this ecosystem fulfills the ecosystem service in the
last column of Table 2
Table 2
Types of Ecosystem Example of ecosystem in MY community Explanation
Services that fulfills this ecosystem function

Provisioning Page Farms This farm grows strawberries, in


a sustainable fashion, that can be
gathered and consumed by
humans.

Regulation Falls Lake Dam The Falls Lake Dam retains water
in the ecosystem. It also is used to
collect and store water in order to
distribute the water to many
locations.

Cultural Smith Creek Trail The Smith Creek Trail surrounds


wetlands, but the trail gives
people pleasure for walking,
running, riding a bicycle or other
activities that may be completed
along the trail.

Supporting Eno River State Park The trees located in the state
park, regulate air filtration
throughout the area.

B. Service
Watch the following video clip. ​https://youtu.be/nLu5yt5p8rI
1. How has Malala taken her passion for equity and environmental justice from local to a
global level?
a. Malala has taken her passion for equity and environmental justice from local to a
global level by using her courage to share her story so that millions of people can
understand and gain a similar passion for her beliefs.
2. Can you think of any examples of high schoolers standing up for a cause they believe in
and making lasting change on a local, regional or global level?
a. An example of high schoolers standing up for a cause they believe in and making
lasting change on a local, regional or global level is at Vermont high school when
they raised a black lives matter flag in front of their school, the school had a total
of 350 students, only 18 of them African American. The police had to get

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involved because of the protests that occurred around it. Similar flags began to
appear at other schools in future years, it made a very regional change. There are
many high schoolers that stand up for what they believe in. Even our school,
Heritage High School, and the rest of Wake County, had a walk out to protest gun
violence. It was a local walk out that had lasting changes on how people viewed
gun violence.
3. Can you think of any ways that high school environmental science students can have an
impact on biodiversity loss on a local and global level?
a. There are many ways high schoolers can have an impact on biodiversity loss on a
local and sometimes even global levels.

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Individual Reflection 1​: ​Pavan Sukhdev: “Put a Value on Nature!”
1. Pavan Sukhdev argues that there are economic benefits to preserving biodiversity.
Explain this statement by giving an ecosystem service at the ecosystem, species and
genetic level.

2. What is an economic application to preserving biodiversity?

Ashlynne → Pavan Sukhdev argues that there are multiple economic benefits to preserving
biodiversity. Sukhdev goes into great depth regarding this issue and his opinions towards it. He
goes into specifics about the ecosystem services at different levels; ecosystem, species and
genetic. Specifically for rainforests, an ecosystem service provided is water regulation. Forest
vegetations allows for water to be moved into rivers and other such waterways (RCF). Looking
at the species level, according to Sukhdev, insect-based pollination is estimated to have around
190 billion dollars worth. Going in further to the genetic level, 60% of medicines first molecules
were derived from a reef or a rainforest. An economic application to preserving biodiversity is
that the majority of medicines are acquired from nature. According to Rainforest Trust, 90% of
all human diseases, those medically known, can be treated by a prescription that has been
derived from nature. “Billions upon billions of dollars have flowed into the world economy due
to prescription medications arising from the planet’s largess of biological diversity.” This
outweighs the cost spent on prescription drugs exponentially. Without the preserving of
biodiversity, these medications could be lost resulting in the loss of many lives.

Cole → Pavan Sukhdev spoke quite eloquently about the intricacies of placing a value on nature.
The ecological services provided by nature are, on most occasions, exploited by companies
without taking into account the potential monetary cost for their use of natural resources. For
example, forests allow individuals to utilize their lumber for various purposes including, but not
limited to, buildings, aesthetics, and heating purposes. The ecological costs for this exploitation
is never documented on a financial report, memo, or business document of any kind. Another
ecosystem service that is not documented is the pollination of flowers, plants, and other
vegetation via bees. The world is reliant on the pollination of bees, and yet, we pump the
atmosphere full of toxins that kill the bees and that put the future of the planet at risk. Finally, a
service that the environment provides, that is not accounted for in terms of value and occurs on
the genetic level, is the production of vital medicines for human health. Foraging for potential
genes to make medicine is costly and uses a lot of natural resources that are necessary for
biodiversity. So far, around 38% of the Amazon Rainforest has been deforested partially due to
the need for its genetic material that can aid in the production of medicines. This type of
unprecedented use of natural resources is not, like any other level of ecological service,
accounted monetarily or otherwise. In order for biodiversity to be preserved, businesses should
implement practices in which a log is kept of all of the environmental services they take
advantage of. This way a monetary accounting of what they owe to help mitigate any harm that
has been done can be properly organized and distributed to the necessary parties involved.

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Furthermore, the government, in each respective country in which this is an issue, should do a
greater job at enforcing this policy so that businesses can be held accountable. In order for
biodiversity and ecological services to be maintained, there has to be accountability for
everyones actions and that will not happen unless corporations are barred from circumventing
the necessary steps to ensure a successful planet and collective population.

Maxine → Pavan Sukhdev argues that there are economic benefits to preserving biodiversity by
hosting a Ted Talk and explaining his argument through the different ecosystem service levels.
At the ecosystem level, Sukhdev goes into explaining how the Amazon rainforest serves as the
main source of water for agricultural practices throughout Latin America. Without this source,
Latin American countries’ economy would decline significantly; with this being said, they give
no compensation back to the forests. At the species level, Sukhdev illustrates how the pollination
of flowers by the bees consists of 8% of the total agricultural output annually. That is $190
billion dollars worth that is solely contributed to the work of the bees. It is known that bees are
becoming an endangered species, and some efforts are being made, but for the amount the bee
population is decreasing the efforts are not enough. The bee population is decreasing due to
man-made pollutants, and if this continues, global agricultural markets will plummet ruining a
lot of agricultural based economies worldwide. At the genetic level, all of the medicines
discovered through plant materials such as rain forests or reefs will also never be accounted for.
An economic application to preserving biodiversity, as described in the video is, on a company
basis, “take leadership forward.” What this means is for companies to calculate or disclose their
externalities in order to understand how much money is being lost.

Ricky → During this Ted Talk, Pavan Sukhdev gave many pieces of evidence to argue that the
economy will improve if biodiversity is preserved. There are many ecological services provided
at each level. For example, at the ecosystem level, the rainfall cycle is an important factor for
rainforests to continue to prosper. If this ecological service was not provided, rainforests could
diminish even further then they already have. Going into species ecological services, Sukhdev
states that insect-based pollination gives of 8 percent of the world’s agricultural output and $190
billion dollars worth. Those numbers are huge considering we barley pay any attention to how
much other animals for us. At the genetic level, 60% of medicines first molecules were derived
from a reef or a rainforest and the majority of medicines are acquired from nature. Ecological
services are provided by nature but they are almost always exploited by humans through
companies and businesses. Sukhdev suggests that to save biodiversity, we need to take
leadership forward. Pavan Sukhdev is putting a monetary value on biodiversity and I think
people need to analyze this in order to fix what humans have done to the world.

Erin → Pavan Sukhdev offers the argument that environmental concerns in regards to
biodiversity are not represented in the market price. He goes into further explanation that
biodiversity exists in many layers, ecosystems, species and genes across many scales from local
to international. Sukhdev places emphasis on preserving biodiversity because of the benefits that

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are gained from it. In terms of ecosystems, Sukhdev discusses the amazon rainforest to bring
attention that the fact that it is a massive store of carbon along with biodiversity. Along with the
argument he articulates, he relates it back to the idea that environmental costs are being overseen
by human usage significantly which is causes economic invisibility. As for the species level,
insect-based pollin is estimated to be 190 billion dollars worth, which goes to show that
ecological costs are not be shown throughout various projects within the environment.This can
even been seen on the genetic level where 60 percent of medicines were found first as molecules
in a rainforest or reef, which also does not get paid. Sukhdev ideas in preserving biodiversity was
to take leadership forward as we must recognize that maintaining biodiversity helps flourish the
environment, which goes hand in hand in relations to the economy.

Ashley → Pavan Sukhdev argues that there are many economic benefits from preserving
biodiversity. Sukhdev supports this statement by describing ecosystem services at an ecosystem,
species, and genetic level. On an ecosystem level, he goes into an explanation of rainforests
providing water regulation through the rainfall cycle and storing mass amounts of carbon. In
terms of species, Sukhdev explains how pollination by bees is 8% of the entire world’s
agricultural output. This insect-based pollination is worth almost $190,000,000 but is not being
paid. This is also seen on a genetic level, as 60% of medicines were found first as molecules in a
rainforest or reef. This genetic material is also not getting paid. By preserving biodiversity, we
are preserving the natural capital that is sustaining life on this planet. In maintaining the capital,
we are allowing the environment to thrive, which leads to economic prosperity.

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Investigation 2: Problem Tree
Start by writing the problem at the center of the tree, and then look at the causes and effects of
the issue. Keep digging to go deeper on the issues to find its supporting and root causes.

Leaves and Branches: Effects


These are the results created by the problem. At first, this part of the issue appears easy to
tackle, but when leaves and branches are trimmed, they grow back quickly. Consider the
multilayered effects, or effects of effects, that can arise when a problem goes unaddressed.
Always ask: “Then what happens?”
● Habitat Destruction
○ Death of animals
■ Lack of food
■ Population shifts
● Climate Change
○ Melting of the ice caps
■ Warming of the Planet
● More adverse weather conditions
● Genetically Modified Organisms
○ Groundwater pollutants
○ Increased pesticide use
● Human Overpopulation
○ Overexploitation of resources
○ Destruction
○ Overharvesting
● Invasive species
○ Outcompeting natural species
■ Reduces wildlife food and habitat
○ Effect several ecosystem functions
■ Waterflow
■ Nutrient cycling
■ Soil Decomposition
Trunk: Problem
This is the key issue that’s being studied. Because it’s not as apparent as the leaves, the core
problem itself sometimes takes a little longer to identify
● Loss of Biodiversity
Roots: Causes
These are the situations for factors that have lead to the problem. When exploring the root
causes of a problem, ask yourself “Why does this problem exist?” Dig deeper to consider the
“causes of causes” - the multiple layers of factors that contribute to a problem.
● Climate Change
● Genetically Modified Organisms

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● Human Overpopulation
● Invasive Species
● Habitat Destruction

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Reflection 2: Problem Tree
What cause do you believe is most directly related to the core problem of biodiversity
loss. In other words, if we just solved “x”, there would be a significant reduction in the amount
of biodiversity loss. Justify your response.

Ashlynne → The population is currently 7.6 billion growing at a rate of 1.09% per year
(Worldometers). The loss of biodiversity has many causes, but the core problem is
overpopulation. Overpopulation has been an uprising issue for many years. Some of the major
issues of biodiversity loss is habitat loss, global climate change, over-consumption, and many
others. The issue that relates all of these, are humans. The amount of humans on Earth is
becoming too much, approaching Earth’s carrying capacity. The massive amount of humans
requires a massive amount of housing which requires a massive amount of land which results in
a massive amount of habitat destruction. Habitats of which belong to other species, that are being
destroyed by humans occupying immense amounts of land. Global climate change is related to
the greenhouse effect, when the atmosphere traps heat causing the heat to radiate warming the
Earth. Scientists have said that this is caused by the burning of fossil fuels. With the constant
growing of the population, the amount of fossil fuels being burned is increasing. Even though
these resources are non-renewable, by the time they “run out”, it may be too late, as though the
Earth will be at a point of no return.

Erin → Speaking in terms of global matters, population increases have risen significantly in
areas all around the world. As a result of overpopulation we begin to see habitat loss and
fragmentation as a result of clearing the land for commercial purposes, agriculture and new
developments to sustain large amounts of people. Deforestation leads to a significant biodiversity
loss which then causes the emergence of invasive species, pollution and global climate change.
The loss of biodiversity almost serves as a chain reaction where one thing leads to the next such
as this overpopulation growth can lead into over-consumption as well as other related ecosystem
imbalances such as species extinction because the destruction that humans are causing on the
land. Humans are always trying to utilize resources to their advantage, however we do not step
back to realize the bigger picture when it comes to the environment that our actions are
associated with the problems that come along with the effects on biodiversity.

Ricky → The decline of biodiversity can be traced back decades ago when humans began to alter
the environment for their own good. Human beings have contributed to the loss of biodiversity in
many different ways; We have destroyed habitats for our own good, we have introduced
genetically modified organisms to the world, we have polluted, and we have overexploited
Earth’s resources. In doing all of these things, Earth’s weather patterns have changed and the
heating of Earth’s surface has altered. I believe this is what is most directly related to
biodiversity loss. In order to fix this large problem, we would have to find a way to fix all of the
smaller problems. In regards to the problem tree, the four identified problems I listed are the
leaves and branches, and climate change is the trunk. These problems exist because of the

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combined results of selfishness and ignorance; Humans destroy habitats and use valuable
resources for their own good without analyzing and evaluating the long term effects it could have
on them and future generations of people. If the human population continues to decrease
biodiversity at the same rate it is occuring right now, more species will become endangered and
and there is no telling how many things that can affect.

Ashley → The core problem of biodiversity loss is overpopulation. The vast amount of people on
the Earth is causing many of the sources for loss of biodiversity including, climate change,
deforestation, and over-consumption of resources. Climate change is being affected dramatically
due to the amount of fossil fuels being burned. The massive population of humans requires a
large amount of land to be cleared in order to build housing and other necessities. This clearing
of land results in large amounts of habitat destruction for many species. Over-consumption is
also plays a large role in the loss of biodiversity. Humans take resources from nature without
realizing the true cost of their actions and as the population grows, more resources are being
utilized to compensate for the development.

Cole → Humans destroy everything. Overpopulation is to blame for the increase in biodiversity
loss. Not only are humans actively exploiting natural resources, they are pumping the planet full
of harmful chemicals that have detrimental effects on biodiversity. Humans are using too much
water, eating too much food, and expanding too quickly. ​According to the ​Global Outlook for
Water Resources to the Year 2025​, it is estimated that by 2025, more than half of the world
population will be facing water-based vulnerability and ​human demand for water will account
for 70% of all available freshwater​. Water vulnerability is one of the many things that humans
have contributed to. Another example of human destruction is climate change. Climate change is
one of the biggest concerns facing our generation and future generations, and it has contributed
drastically to the degradation of the environment. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change’s (IPCC) fifth assessment report, humans emissions and activities have caused
around 100% of the warming observed since 1950. Ultimately, overpopulation is what will lead
to the demise of animals species, biodiversity, and the planet as a whole.

Maxine → The biggest factor that causes a loss of biodiversity are humans. More specifically,
human overpopulation. The human population is continuing to increase exponentially; with this
increase comes an increase in pollution, climate change, deforestation, and soil depletion. These
side effects of overpopulation have a direct link to a loss of biodiversity. Humans are pumping
the Earth full of pollutions from their car exhausts, from burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas),
and from many other examples of pollution such as air pollution, land pollution, noise pollution,
and thermal pollution. These pollutants can lead to climate change, specifically the burning of
fossil fuels. Climate change causes a rapid increase in the number of species going extinct
because they are not able to adapt fast enough to their new conditions. Deforestation, caused by
humans clearing land to create houses, buildings, power plants, and many other things, leads to
habitat destruction and the destruction of ecosystems. This displaces and forces the extinction of

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many organisms found in these areas. Soil depletion is a result of excessive farming due to the
increasing amounts of food needed for our increasing human population. If farmers continue to
plant large numbers of crops, it will deplete the soils natural resources making the land unable to
successfully grow more crops again. If the human population continues to expand at this constant
rate, the loss of biodiversity will continue to increase globally.

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Investigation 3: Organizations Needs Assessment
As a group:​ Engage in an internet search to begin developing an understanding of specific issues
related to maintaining biodiversity. This is best done by searching for organizations that are
working to combat this issue. These organizations may be governmental or non-governmental,
and you may wish to focus your search for organizations that are not-for-profit.

Revisit and work in parallel with your Problem Tree graphic organizer, which can help to ensure
that your solutions are addressing ​actual​ problems. You should develop four solutions and their
accompanying key elements and possible outcomes. You should keep track of any sources they
used to fill out the graphic organizer.

The following series of questions helps you to analyze and identify ongoing areas of need within
organizations addressing your issue.
1. For each group member, identify 2 organizations working on issues related to
maintaining biodiversity.
a. International Fund for Animal Welfare (nonprofit), The Sierra Club
b. Defenders of Wildlife, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation
c. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Panthera
d. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
e. UNEP’s Convention on Biological Diversity; The Ancient Forest Alliance
f. Conservation International, United Nations Environment Programme

2. What does each organization do well in response to issues related to biodiversity?


a. The International Fund for Animal Welfare works alongside various species in
order to provide assistance to helping animal habitats and communities. This
organization works to shut down poaching networks, release orphan animals back
into the wild as well as advocating for the well-being of species and their habitats
in the wild.
b. The Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to promote the support of regional and
statewide strategies to conserve biodiversity. The Center for Biodiversity and
Conservation apart of the American Museum of Natural History and their mission
is to minimize threats to biodiversity. The museum has been studying biodiversity
since 1993.
c. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is an international non-profit, marine
conservation organization. They work to end the destruction of habit and
poaching of marine species and conserve and protect ecosystems and wildlife.
Panthera is the world’s largest cat conservation organization that works to save
and protect the largest and most endangered wild cats. They do this by
implementing successful conservation strategies.
d. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is an international organization that is
non-government funded. They work to help aid wildlife preservation as well as

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reduce the human impact that is left on the environment. The Wildlife
Conservation Society is an organization that works to conserve over two million
square miles of wildlife space around the world.
e. UNEP Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is a panel that works to raise
awareness about biodiversity loss. They are superb at creating campaigns to raise
awareness about the issues regarding biodiversity. They deliver their message to
countries where biodiversity is under threat. They also are vital in getting
agreements drafted and signed between countries so that their respective
governments can work more diligently to combat biodiversity loss. The Ancient
Forest Alliance works to preserve and protect old growth forests in British
Columbia, Canada. Animals rely on these forests for their habitat and they are
being cut down. The Ancient Forest Alliance tries to devote as many resources as
possible to protecting these old growth forests where they have become scarce.
They are good at organizing their efforts in way that the government of Canada
was unwilling and unable to do.
f. Conservation International responds to issues related to biodiversity by
empowering people to protect the nature that they rely on for food, fresh water,
and livelihoods. They do this through different protection programs that each
influence biodiversity positively, such as climate, food, forests, freshwater, global
stability, etc. The United Nations Environment Programme, within the United
Nations systems, promotes the implementation of the environmental aspect of
sustainable development and acts as an advocate for the global environment. The
do this by hosting many conventions (i.e. The Convention on Biological
Diversity), by supporting governments throughout their different ‘topics’ with the
goal of protection biological diversity and human health.

3. What area is each organization addressing but could do better?


a. The area each organization is addressing is the loss of habitat and the species due
to poaching, deforestation etc. Each of the organization works to provide a better
habitat for the species as well as maintain it, however they could do better in their
efforts because of the significant loss it causes to the species in the wild. They
place emphasis on the species and their value in nature, but they fail to address
some of the key ways that people can take action to do in order to maintain
biodiversity as seen in IFAW.
b. Each of these organizations is addressing the movement to conserve biodiversity
and they are doing small things to help, but they are not going out of their way to
do big things that can conserve global biodiversity. The museum for instance,
could have a biodiversity exhibit that teaches people what we are doing to the
world and how important the conservation of biodiversity is. The organization
could educate people on how to save the world. Also, these organizations are not
big ones because they are not getting themselves and speaking up.

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c. Each of the organizations are addressing the poaching/slaughter and protection of
different species throughout the world. They work to protect habitats and
ecosystems of various populations through specific conservation techniques. In
order to have a larger influence throughout the world, both the Sea Shepherd
Conservation Society and Panthera could increase the number of advocators and
campaigns that they create.
d. The CBD primarily works to ensure safe handling of Living Modified Organisms
(LMOs) that can be detrimental to biodiversity and that natural resources are
being responsibly utilized. They could try to raise more awareness about their
program so that more people would support it. The Ancient Forest Alliance
organizes themselves with a number of activists, but they could do a better job at
launching ad campaigns to raise more awareness about the issue. Many people are
unaware that this is an issue in Canada.
e. The WWF is an organization that focuses on specific animals, creating specific
campaigns. The WWF could try to show the impact human activities have on the
environment. They are trying to reverse the issues, but if some humans aren’t
informed on what they’re doing to cause these detrimental effects, change may
never happen. The Wildlife Conservation Society is an organization that depends
on people donating money. They could create fundraisers that raise money for a
specific case, rather than just asking for money.
f. The area Conservation International focuses on is protecting and conserving
nature throughout their list of ‘topics’, and therefore conserving biodiversity.
They could do better if they expanded their topics list to reach Europe, Northeast
Asia, and Canada. The United Nations Environment Programme attempts to
create awareness by holding a multitude of campaigns, in order to be more
successful they could attempt to raise money as well as holding these campaigns.
4. What areas of need related to biodiversity have you learned about that each organization
is NOT addressing?
a. The organizations need to go more in depth of the practices that people can take
action upon. Maintaining biodiversity starts with us, which is why it is vital for
organizations such as the Sierra Club and IFAW to provide thorough explanations
on the ways in which humans can preserve biodiversity through their efforts.
Most of the organizations discuss their duty and call to action, but fail to address
the other ways in which biodiversity can be managed that does not call upon other
agencies to help.
b. The organizations need to do more to help conserve biodiversity. They are small
organizations and really do not spend a lot of time actually doing things to help.
They could educate people on biodiversity and even do small events that could
help fix the problem.
c. There are many things that both of these organizations are not addressing that are
vital components to combating biodiversity loss. The protocols that the CBD has

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been sponsoring do not address habitats, animals, or specific countries/areas. It’s
vital that certain countries that have the most air pollution, water pollution,
deforestation, etc. are held accountable specifically. The CBD has yet to embrace
this way of thinking. The Ancient Forest Alliance addresses habitats and forests,
but it does not address the animals living in those forests. It could be addressing
ways to help those native species from pollution, invasive species, etc. that could
be detrimental to their survival. As a result, biodiversity loss is not being
addressed in a comprehensive manner because both organizations are only
addressing specific components of the issue.
d. The Wildlife Conservation Society focuses primarily on wildlife, however it
seems as though they lack support for plant life. They also lack what is creating
the problems. The WWF lacks aiding the pollution in the atmosphere. They work
with the climate, however there are other factors that impact the atmosphere. Both
of these organizations could focus on what is causing the endangerment of these
animals and why the environment is being negatively affected.
e. Both the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Panthera focus more on the
illegal slaughter of marine animals and the poaching of wild cats but lack the
addressing of the environment or ecosystem of the species. Although the poaching
and slaughter of animals is a direct effect, the ecosystem and environment of
those species is a main factor in biodiversity.
f. Both organizations can better their causes if they did more than educate, if the
created more action plans that would be more effective to increase biodiversity.
Conservation international also is mainly focusing on plant life, not as much on
wildlife, which is a main focus of biodiversity.
5. Considering all organizations, what are the ongoing needs that are not being adequately
addressed?
a. After reading everyone’s responses, it seems as though education is what majority
of these organizations can improve upon. These organizations that everyone has
already discussed, helps the environment in their different ways. However, all
these organizations lack educating the environment. Some people may need to be
educated on what is causing all this damage. Even though some of these
organizations are known around the world, a few of the organizations have not
been heard of by most people. The more educated the people are on this issue, the
more likely change will be made. Knowledge is power, and that must be used as
an advantage.
b. After reading through all of my peer’s responses, organizations that are working
on improving biodiversity need to raise awareness globally. These organizations
do a decent job spreading their causes awareness locally, but not globally. The
organizations need to learn how to campaign, advertise and educate people on
their cause. My group is running into the same problem; It is easy to spread our
ideas locally, but it is hard finding how to do it globally.

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c. It seems to me that there is a lack of global awareness about the detrimental
effects of biodiversity. None of these organizations have gone far enough to raise
awareness about the effects of biodiversity loss. So, to answer the question, every
ecosystem’s needs are not being adequately addressed because very few people
concern themselves with biodiversity loss. An ad campaign or more widespread
advertising could work to mitigate the issue of ignorance on this topic.
d. After discussing and reading through everyone’s responses, the ongoing needs
that are not being adequately addressed are the concerns that are centered around
the efforts to help correct the problem. I have noticed that these organizations are
centered around campaigns and advocacy to help spread awareness, however I see
a lack of effort being done that actually allows these organizations to go out and
make the change for themselves. Although most of the organizations have
projects put into place, I feel as though they need to take it one step further or
even advocate for the projects specifically as they are not highlighted on the main
page of the website in which they should be.
e. Considering all organizations and reading through everyone’s responses, none of
these organizations are spreading awareness globally. With this being said, many
people around the world are unaware of the real reasons for the loss of
biodiversity or how they can help reduce the losses. With a joint effort, multiple
organizations could come together to do one large campaign to either solely
spread awareness or to create a call to action for people to participate in.
f. After reading and considering everybody’s responses, the needs that aren’t
adequately addressed are the plant life in the ecosystems and the actions that can
be taken to help improve the biodiversity. All of the organizations are centered
around specific, small problems and lack the amount of projects to spread
awareness of the situation. Most of the organizations have organized a few
campaigns but have not effectively advocated for the cause.

6. Considering all 3-5 organizations, what are the ongoing needs that are being addressed
successfully, and to which you can add further efforts to support the issue of
biodiversity?
a. Considering the organizations that the group thoroughly researched, the ongoing
needs that are being addressed successfully are those that organizations that use
direct action tactics such as Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) where
they have removed many fishing nets in the ocean that trap animals to help save
marine life. I feel as though each organization has done an efficient job when it
comes to spreading awareness on their website on both local and global scales.
Most organizations mostly focus on a national scale, which is why I feel that they
there should be more opportunities to help locally in some areas because that is
the only way that more people are going to join the effort. Each organizations
goes in depth to explain the environment and the effects of the loss of biodiversity

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that is happening in habitats all around the world, which is what the people need
to see when going on to these sites.
b. While looking at all of the organizations we researched, I saw that there are
different needs being addressed through different groups. These organizations
focus mainly on things like animals and effective actions we can take to preserve
biodiversity. SSCS, Defenders of Wildlife and WWF are all organizations that are
all trying to stop harming animals, listing effective actions humans can use to stop
animals from becoming endangered. I believe that that if these organizations
campaign more, more will be done to improve the cause they are working
towards. Raising awareness can never be a bad thing and will only make people
become more involved.
c. After thoroughly looking through the responses above about each organization, it
seems as though that the variety of organizations focus on different things, from
wildlife to the ocean to the commons used in everyday life. These organizations
are doing superb job at focusing on a variety of different issues. Agreeing with
Erin’s response above, I believe that these organizations should focus on
providing tactics that can be done in the community. I believe that if they make
more local tactics, more people will become involved. I also think that some
people are unaware on what they can do to resolve these issues, but if they see
one person raising awareness, they might start doing it which may cause a chain
reaction.
d. After reviewing all of the groups, it seems that the needs of animals are being
adequately addressed in most areas. Throughout the United States, and the world,
humans keep pets for various reasons. Some of the reasons are, but are not limited
to, a sense of companionship, loneliness, and hunting. Owning pets is a practice
that has been prevalent for centuries. As a result, sympathy for animals is always
a common practice among various organizations. Unfortunately, sympathy and
awareness in regards to the habitats in which they live is not of paramount
importance to many biodiversity related organizations. Raising awareness about
the need to protect animals has been and will continue to be successful because of
human behavior, but protecting the habitats in which they live needs improvement
for global sustainability. More organizations should devote additional time to
ensuring the health of ecosystems.
e. After thoroughly looking at the organizations, the needs that are addressed
successfully are the protection of animals and the use of direct-action strategies.
Organizations like the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Panthera, and the
Sierra Club use these strategies by investigating, documenting, and taking action
to confront and stop illegal activities including the poaching of endangered
species. Although they are making great efforts to spread awareness, they are
mostly focusing nationally. In order to be the more efficient in advocating for the
protection of animals, all of the organization should devote more resources to

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local campaigns. I believe if more people had the knowledge, the organizations
would gain more advocators to support them.
f. Considering all of the organizations our group researched, the ongoing needs that
are being addressed successfully is spreading awareness nationally and addressing
the needs to continue to protect animals. Though many of these organizations
claim to be international, one organization in particular, Conservation
International, focuses more of their resources to countries in the southern
hemisphere such as some parts of Africa, South America and Southeast Asia.
Also, quite a few organizations our group chose to research such as WWF,
Defenders of Wildlife, The Wildlife Conservation Society, International Fund for
Animal Welfare, and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society focus mainly on
protecting animals rather than plants and ecosystems. In order to decrease the loss
of biodiversity, these organizations need to spread their capability to also focus on
plant and habitat loss.

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Reflection 3: Needs Assessment
Write a 2 ​page​ report that describes the needs assessment findings on ONE of the organizations
your group researched. The report should include the following:
● A description of the impacts of the loss of biodiversity both locally and globally
● What are some similarities between the organizations and their approach to improving
biodiversity? What were some unique concepts that you noticed while your group
investigated the organizations?
● Based on what you learned about biodiversity loss throughout this semester as well as the
actions others are taking (Investigation 3), what are five areas of need that you could
address? What attracts you to these areas? What are some actions that you could take to
address this issue(s)? What excited you about these actions and the impact you can have?
● Citation of resources.

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Ricky →
The Earth’s ocean is being destroyed through illegal exploitation, fracking, oil spills, and

many other detrimental effects. The Earth’s ocean provides the human population with half the

oxygen they breathe, 97% of the world's water and a sixth of the animal protein we eat (Marine

Conservation Institute). The Earth’s ocean contains hundreds of thousands of different marine

animal species, all providing important ecosystem services. As you can see, it is very important

for humans to preserve and protect the ocean and the marine animals that live in it.

There are multiple organizations that protect the destruction of the ocean and defenseless

marine animals, but the one I am going to be focusing on is the Sea Shepherd Conservation

Society (SSCS). The SSCS uses direct action tactics to defend, conserve and protect the

biodiversity of the seas and enforce international conservation laws (Sea Shepherd Global).

SSCS is different than most organizations; the group organization is a relatively small

size and has limited resources, but they use direct action to get the results they want. This has

many downfalls but also many benefits. For example, they do not reach out to the public by

using petitions, billboards or flyers, which can have a detrimental effect to locals wanting to help

their cause. But their direct action approach uses ships full of volunteers saving over 6000

whales from being poached and thousands of seals from dying. Although they could be

improving biodiversity locally, they are doing a really good job in saving it globally.

The loss of biodiversity is one of the biggest problems in the world to date. Biodiversity

loss is being addresses my many successful people, but the result we want would be much easier

if we had the help and support of the whole planet. (1) There is a variety of ways organizations

can increase public awareness about the idea of biodiversity, organizations like SSCS do not do

this and are hurt because of it. Many other problems could be addressed to improve biodiversity:

(2) People can start by observe animal habitats and protect them from being damaged. Farmers

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could help improve the quality and quantity of the agricultural field by reducing the amount of

GMOs in crops, using less harmful pesticides and many other methods will have the same effect.

(3) People can restore habitat, maybe their own yard that they messed up. This could have a

ripple effect and soon enough there is a whole neighborhood or community restoring habitat

around you to encourage biodiversity. (4) The community can work together to help improve

policy that will increase biodiversity both locally and globally. (5) Every individual can reduce,

reuse, and recycle, this way less resources are consumed and there is less habitat taken from

animals. People can address these areas by practicing the five areas that I described above

monthly, weekly and even daily. These steps excited me because I think if a lot of the population

did this, we could see a drastic increase in the amount of biodiversity, making the world a better

placeplace.

Poaching and killing aquatic animals is needed for resources, but it also needs to be

minimized so biodiversity is not harmed. Organizations like the SSCS are very important in

contributing to saving these animals and helping the problem of the loss of biodiversity. If we do

not fix these kinds of problems soon, the world we live in will have many negative effects that

will lead to its destruction.

Works Cited

“Who We Are.” ​Sea Shepherd Global​, www.seashepherdglobal.org/who-we-are/.

“Why We Protect Our Oceans.” ​Marine Conservation Institute​,

marine-conservation.org/what-we-do/advocate/why-we-protect-our-oceans/.

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Cole →

The world is plagued with potentially disastrous environmental dilemmas that must be

addressed to avoid detrimental effects on ecosystems, animals, and life as a whole. Ultimately, a

majority of the global population is fixated on climate change. The data to substantiate the claim

that climate change is one of the biggest problems facing the world is readily available and

viewable to the collective population. Unfortunately, due to sheer ignorance, people tend to

avoid digging deeper into issues. What many do not realize is that things like climate change

have a direct effect on other important issues like biodiversity loss. The first step to solving

biodiversity loss is to address all environmental problems on a comprehensive basis rather than

fixating on something specific.

Biodiversity refers to the variety of species in a given area. A biodiverse ecosystem can

be characterized as healthy and vibrant, whereas an ecosystem lacking biodiversity can be

characterized as unhealthy and lacking the resources to sustain life. Every life form on earth is

connected in some way. The interconnected web of different life forms is formulated in such a

way that when one part of the web is lacking biodiversity, and suffering as a result, the rest of the

web will start to feel the same results. When you lose biodiversity, many detrimental effects can

result. A lack of biodiversity can include but is not limited to, the following impacts: food

shortages, increased proliferation of disease, and more unpredictable weather patterns. For

example, if there were to be an agricultural biodiversity crisis and plants began to die off, being

more vulnerable to disease and pests, humans would lose a major food source, leading to human

extinction. The impacts of a biodiversity crisis, put simply, would almost guarantee the demise

of the earth and all life forms in it.

Luckily, different organizations are working to mitigate the potential threats to

biodiversity. The different organizations that were researched by our group were similar in some

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ways but drastically different and unique in other ways. All of the organizations that were

researched involved the idea of affecting meaningful change to help improve biodiversity. More

specifically, it seemed to me, each organization focused on the wildlife of a habitat, and their

protection, as a means to increase biodiversity. In fighting this issue, each organization has tried

to raise awareness about their respective missions, but in different ways. Some organizations

have used ad campaigns, appealing to everyone’s sense of humanity, to convey the need for their

efforts. Other organizations have tried to inform governmental institutions to develop policy that

could help mitigate the issue of biodiversity loss. One unique concept I noticed, while

investigating these organizations, was that the Ancient Forest Alliance was the only group that

focused more so on the habitats and the ecosystem rather than the animals living inside of it. On

face value, the idea of focusing on wildlife makes sense; species need to be more biodiverse to

avoid disastrous environmental effects, that could do irreparable damage. But, when thinking

more largely about species as a whole, if their habitat is protected then they too will be protected.

If habitats are more closely monitored, then the animals inside of them will have a better chance

of being successful and biodiverse. These organizations are doing a tremendous job at affecting

meaningful change, but it may not be possible for them to go any further without more public

awareness and support. Once a stronger effort is made in informing people of biodiversity loss,

these organizations, in my opinion, will be more successful in their endeavors.

While biodiversity loss is being addressed by some people, it is an issue that, in some

cases, has taken the back seat to public concern. There is a myriad of things that could be done to

help mitigate this issue. Some ideas include, but are not limited to, (1) increasing public

awareness about the idea of biodiversity and how important it is, (2) more closely monitoring the

habitat of animals as a whole (rather than just the animals in the habitat), (3) advocating for the

use of more sustainable products to avoid water, air, or any other pollution, (4) working together,

25
on a united front, to help pass policy that will make a true difference, and (5) helping to plant

more sustainable vegetation for a more widespread agricultural presence. All of these areas are

attractive because they are bigger and can more comprehensively solve the problem of

biodiversity loss than what is currently being addressed. Researchers are thinking too small and

should be trying to find solutions that can have an impact on all environmental issues, not just a

minute portion of one environmental issue. These potential solutions are challenging, but

exciting because I believe that I can have an impact in raising awareness about biodiversity loss.

I believe that I can help reduce the number of pollutants humans use and that my generation will

be the ones to put forth policy that will end biodiversity loss, climate change, and other

potentially detrimental environmental issues. Biodiversity is extraordinarily important to a

sustainable planet. In order for biodiversity to be preserved, the emerging generation must

dispose of the ways of the people who preceded them and forge a new path of prosperity in a

biodiverse world.

Works Cited

“The Ancient Forest Alliance (AFA)Is a British Columbian Organization Working to Protect the

Endangered Old-Growth Forests of BC and to Ensure Sustainable Forestry Jobs in the

Province. It Was Founded in January of 2010 and Is Run by BC Environmental Activists

Ken Wu, TJ Watt, Joan Varley, and Hannah Carpendale. More ...” ​Maps of Old-Growth

Forest Cover on Vancouver Island​, www.ancientforestalliance.org/.

DeFranza, David. “6 Problems Caused by Shrinking Biodiversity.” ​TreeHugger​, Treehugger, 5

Feb. 2018,

www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/6-problems-caused-shrinking-biodiversity.html.

“How Does Biodiversity Loss Affect Me and Everyone Else?” ​WWF​,

wwf.panda.org/our_work/biodiversity/biodiversity_and_you/.

26
Ashlynne- Reflection 3

There are many similarities between the organizations and their approach to improving

biodiversity. All of the organizations rely heavily on donations. The first thing you see on the

majority of the websites, is a “DONATE HERE” button. However, donations are imperative to

changing the face of biodiversity. Majority of the organizations also focus on a national level,

because the entire nation is affected, not just a single country. There are many similarities among

all of these organizations, but they are raise awareness, either on a local or a global scale. While

looking over my groups research as well as furthering my own research, I noticed that every area

is being covered by at least one organization. Some organizations focus on multiple areas while

others focus on a specific area. Another concept I noticed was that the majority of the

organizations were non-government funded. This meaning they had to start on their own with no

financial support from the government.

Biodiversity loss has many causes, some of which are beyond our control, however

locally there can be changes that may be made. There are multiple areas that need to be

addressed, but specifically five areas that need help are; habitat destruction, pollution, species

extinction, global warming and overpopulation. Habitat destruction allows for animals to have a

loss of shelter, a loss of food source, and results in a loss of species as a whole. Habitat

destruction is related to overpopulation as well as species extinction. It is astonishing to me that

humans are destroying the habitats of species, but they are aware of what they’re doing. It is

important that humans take action in order to reduce the amount of habitat destruction. Ways to

do this is to preserve land for all species, more specifically endangered species. Humans can

identify land that is occupied by multiple endangered species and do whatever they can to protect

and conserve the land. Pollution has been an issue, getting extremely worse during the industrial

revolution. Pollution can vary from plastic, to aerosols, to anything that harms the environment.

27
Pollution has been getting into bodies of water, the atmosphere, the soil, and many other areas.

Streams are being damaged by the use of synthetic chemicals, such as nitrates and phosphates.

These chemicals are causing an increase in eutrophication, especially in developing countries

where DDT is being used (Moyle). This area needs attention because pollution is becoming more

of an issue with the exponentially growing population. This area also has many harmful impacts

on the human population as well as other species. Biomagnification is constantly occurring as

toxic chemicals are being ingested by species lower in the food chain. As the toxins are moving

up through the food chain to higher levels, humans, fish, birds, and other terrestrial species.

Pollution is not only related to overpopulation, but species extinction as well. Many species have

become extinct because of the detrimental effects pollution has. The fact that humans have the

ability to help change the impact pollution has on the environment, is astonishing. Humans can

start using reusable bags rather than plastic bags, recycle whenever possible, as well as using

reusable water bottles rather than plastic water bottles. It is evident in today’s forecast that global

warming is a growing issue. In Wake Forest, North Carolina, the temperature outside was cold

for weeks, then all of a sudden it was over eighty degrees for days on end. This shift in weather

impacts everyone’s everyday life, as well as the obvious effects the environment has shown from

global warming. Some ways to reduce this issue is to use renewable energy whenever possible,

reduce the amount of water pollution, drive fuel-efficient cars and buy energy efficient

appliances such as better light bulbs (Denchak). The population is growing at a much faster rate

than the world's resources can keep up with. This is important because I am a person, adding to

the population. Laws and regulations can help aid this population issue. Families who are

incapable of raising a healthy child, should not be allowed to have children. Abortion should be

supported for families who need it. Laws should be placed in countries that have an extremely

high fertility rate, limiting families the amount of children they are legally allowed to have.

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Species extinction is becoming an extreme issue. Every issue discussed is causing species to

become extinct. There are many issues that are contributing to this problem, but humans have the

most impact. Humans can do more than what they are currently doing to help resolve this issue.

Every action that has been addressed in this reflection can help species fight extinction.

When writing this reflection, I wasn’t excited about focusing on these areas. I was

saddened. It was difficult to choose only five areas that need help. It was also shocking the

impact that humans have on species. I am disappointed in myself for not spreading awareness as

much as possible.

Sources

“All Topics.” ​Conservation International​,

www.conservation.org/what/Pages/default.aspx​.

“Biodiversity & Human Well-Being.” Scientific Facts on the Chernobyl Nuclear

Accident, ​www.greenfacts.org/en/biodiversity/l-3/1-define-biodiversity.htm#2p2​.

“Chapter 11: Wildlife and Pollution.” ​Ocean Resources - MarineBio.org​,

marinebio.org/oceans/conservation/moyle/ch11/.

Denchak, Melissa. “How You Can Stop Global Warming.” ​NRDC​, 16 Apr. 2018,

www.nrdc.org/stories/how-you-can-stop-global-warming​.

“Gulf of Mexico 'Dead Zone' Is the Largest Ever Measured.” ​Gulf Oil Spill | National

Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration​,

www.noaa.gov/media-release/gulf-of-mexico-dead-zone-is-largest-ever-measured​.

“Pollution.” WWF, World Wildlife Fund, ​www.worldwildlife.org/threats/pollution​.

29
Ashley →

Biodiversity is defined as the variation of life in the world or a specific habitat. It

supports the health of the planet and has a direct impact on every living thing on the Earth.

Several causes of the loss of biodiversity include, but are not limited to, genetically modified

organisms, invasive species, habitat destruction, and overpopulation. The loss of biodiversity

causes a lack of resources due to overexploitation, along with climate instability. In addition to

these effects, increased pesticide use will also result, attributing to pollution of streams and

groundwater. Globally, the loss of biodiversity also causes many problems. This includes the

melting of ice caps that causes the warming of the planet, which is a source of more adverse

weather conditions throughout the world. In addition to this, approximately .1% of all species go

extinct every year due to the loss of biodiversity. This is 1,000 to 10,000 times the natural rate of

extinction.

This high rate of extinction is one of the many causes of loss of biodiversity. The others

include pollution, habitat destruction, overpopulation, and climate change. These specific areas

attract me because they affect my everyday life the most and have the biggest impact on

reversing the overall detrimental effects of humans. I do not go a day without seeing either

pollution in bodies of water or a parking lot, trees being cleared for additional housing, or one

day being 40 degrees and the next being 90 degrees due to climate change. All of these areas of

need have been proven to directly affect the loss of biodiversity in all parts of the world

including the community, in which I live. In order to address this issue, there are many actions

that can be taken including spreading awareness through different platforms such as social media

and face-to-face, increasing the amount of nationally protected areas, and working to pass

environmental protection policies. Taking these actions will enable me to make a large impact on

the views of others, as well as, a difference directly on the environment and community itself.

30
Informing people of the detrimental effects will, in turn, have a greater contribution than myself

alone working to make a change.

Many organizations are also working to improve biodiversity, usually in specific areas or

specific causes. Some of these organizations include The International Fund for Animal Welfare,

The Defenders of Wildlife, The Sierra Club, and The World Wildlife Fund. While all of these

organizations focus on the preservation of wildlife, they all do it in a different way. Some of the

organizations our group has researched have created ad campaigns, while others have attempted

to create policies to help alleviate the issues. Most of the organizations had similarities such as a

large “Donate” button on the home page of their websites, as well as, different ways to get

involved in the campaigns. One unique thing our group noticed while researching all of these

organizations is that advocating for the environment and habitat, rather than the animals living in

them, come far and few between.

“How Does Biodiversity Loss Affect Me and Everyone Else?” ​WWF​,

wwf.panda.org/our_work/biodiversity/biodiversity_and_you/.

“Sea Shepherd.” ​Sea Shepherd​, seashepherd.org/.

31
Maxine →

Conservation International is an organization created to protect nature. They have offices

in over 30 countries working directly with local governments, nonprofit organizations, civil

societies, community leaders, and others. CI works together will thousands of people in hopes of

protecting nature ranging from eliminating illegal wildlife poaching and trafficking as well as

helping to rescue trafficked wildlife to partnering with indigenous people and local communities

to provide them with funding, training, and technology to help them protect nature. This

organization focuses more in South Africa, Northern South America, Brazil, Mexico, China,

Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Hawaii. Through donations, CI funds field projects aiming to protect

the concentrated ‘critical areas’ where people receive benefits from nature, they also use

donation money to create specific funds such as the Carbon Fund, the Critical Ecosystem

Partnership Fund, Althelia Climate Fund, and many more. Each fund has an individual purpose,

giving aid to many diverse parts of the world. CI has influence over several governments and

policymakers to make decisions on ocean health, wildlife trafficking, forest conservation,

freshwater resources and more (Conservation International Home).

When looking at all of the organizations my group and I researched, there are several that

have similar approaches to improving biodiversity. For instance, several organizations focused

mainly on wildlife, such as WWF, Defenders of Wildlife, The Wildlife Conservation Society,

International Fund for Animal Welfare, and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, rather than

focusing on plants and ecosystems. In order for these organizations to be more successful, they

could expand their approaches to also protecting plant life and habitat loss. Within Conservation

International, a very unique concept was used in one of their campaigns. They have begun to use

virtual reality films as a way to help people around the world view conservation efforts made

around the world and help them meet “local heroes” within the communities who made this

32
campaign possible. This is an amazing way to spread awareness of the biodiversity found in the

many different places features in these VR film. So far they have featured Africa, the Amazon

Rainforest, and Valen’s Reef and CI is currently holding a poll to see whether people would like

the next film to be about the Galapagos, Madagascar, the Himalayas, or Hawaii. CI also has

other platforms to spread awareness through such as several social media sites (twitter, facebook,

instagram, and youtube) as well as providing email updates (Conservation International Home).

So far, from what I have learned about biodiversity, there are five major contributors to

the loss of biodiversity. These include, but are not limited to, climate change, genetically

modified organisms, habitat destruction, invasive species, and human overpopulation.

Individually, each ‘area’ has its own set of effects; most of these effects are not known to the

public, or at least as much as they should be. For instance, many people are unaware that GMOs

lead to groundwater pollution or that invasive species causes a reduce in wildlife food and

habitat. (What Is Biodiversity?) Some actions that take to address these issues can include

spreading awareness locally and globally in hopes that the people within these communities will

understand this cry for help and will begin to participate in conservation methods to reduce

biodiversity loss. My group and I are attempting to mimic the same effect by spreading

awareness through our twitter page as well as educating our local community on how to

individually increase biodiversity. Every organization we researched began as a small, unknown

organization. Through funding and the power of social media, they went from a small-scale

establishment to a large-scale establishment. There is no limit to the effect our small project can

have, which means anybody who chooses to spread awareness of the loss of biodiversity can

create an impact on a local or global level.

Works Cited

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“What Is Biodiversity? Its Importance and Reasons for Loss of Biodiversity?” ​Conserve Energy

Future​, 25 Dec. 2016, ​www.conserve-energy-future.com/what-is-biodiversity.ph​p

“Conservation International Home.” ​Conservation International​,

www.conservation.org/Pages/default.aspx​.

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Erin →
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is designed to protect wildlife

species, especially their habitat. The organization has offices in fifthteen countries and their

projects serve on a global scale in more than forty countries. Their motive is to rescue animals,

protect populations, preserve habitat, and educate those on the matter in hopes for a better

opportunity for the animals. In terms on a global scale, IFAW works to provide global

leadership, hands on assistance for the animals as well as innovative ways to prevent the loss of

habitat destruction as it pertains to the loss of biodiversity. In terms of locally, poaching has

become a central problem over the years as, we humans, are the ones responsible for damaging

their environment. This alternation can lead to the extinction of species because we are taking

advantage of their habitats, such as the practice of logging and clearing the land for agricultural

purpose. Human activity is the leading cause for the destruction of their habitats, which happens

here in Wake Forest as seen where land is being cleared for developments to pave the way for

urbanization as more and more families are moving in. This occurrence happens all around the

world on many scales as humans feel the land is theirs to make use of when we have to

remember we are sharing the land with other species.

All of these organizations work to correct the loss of biodiversity on different occasions

as applies to different areas of life. The organizations each want to advocate to the public ideas

on conservations matters. Their goal is to not only create groups and projects to fix the issues at

hand, but also to educate those on the concern expressed and how humans are the ones behind

the actions and how we can step forward and correct the problem. As for the IFAW and other

organizations, they work to conserve ecosystems and preserve the habitats of the species because

we need them to sustain the food chain. Throughout the exploration of these different sites, some

unique concepts stood out to me which was that some organizations including the IFAW use

35
political advocacy to improve policy and legislation at all levels (local and globally) to help

protect the animals. This was interesting enough because I was unaware that through the national

and local level, campaigns have brought attention to new forms of legislation such as seen in

Russia where the IFAW received a ban on grey seal hunt which in turn saved around 35,000

seals each year since 2010.

The loss of biodiversity can derive from the root problem that enough is not being done

to maintain the loss of biodiversity. Some areas that are needed to be addressed are the root

causes such as human overpopulation in areas that are becoming too crowded, habitat

destruction, invasive species coming in, climate change and genetically modified organisms.

Biodiversity brings awareness to many factors such as the loss of species, groundwater

pollutants, soil decomposition etc. most in which are a result of human exploitation. All in which

listed are keys problems that come as result of the loss of biodiversity in which they need to be

carefully taken into consideration when dealing with different forms of life in an ecosystem.

Some actions to take to address these issues would be to educate the public on the matters and to

spread advocacy both on a local and national scale. Other actions can be hands on, including

actually going out and practicing conservation matters to in order to protect species habitats and

other practices harmful to species. These plans that are in the process of being executed are

exciting because we have learned about biodiversity and its effects all semester long, so to finally

be able to go out spread the word as well as help here in Wake Forest on the matter is a great

opportunity that we were given in a classroom setting, but to take it one step further outside of

class to help the environment. The impact is so crucial because sometimes we do not understand

how our actions as humans affect the lives of species and their habitats everyday. This relates to

the “Tragedy of the Commons” where humans are utilizing more resources that only benefit us,

rather than the greater communities of species that need to be taken into account.

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Works Cited

“About IFAW.” ​IFAW - International Fund for Animal Welfare​,

www.ifaw.org/united-states/about-ifaw.

Erickson, Jim. “Ecosystem Effects of Biodiversity Loss Could Rival Impacts of Climate Change,

Pollution.” ​University of Michigan News​, 2 May 2012,

news.umich.edu/ecosystem-effects-of-biodiversity-loss-could-rival-impacts-of-climate-cha

nge-pollution/.

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Team Contract
Create a contract so all members have a clear understanding of their own roles and
responsibilities, as well as those of the other members on the team. The contract will help to
identify and establish group norms, including a plan and process for conflict resolution as well as
a proactive approach to problem solving within a team environment.

We (​print names​) the undersigned agree to the following Code of Conduct:


Each team member will ALWAYS….
Each team member will NEVER……
If/when dealing with a conflict or obstacle, each team member will……
And (anything additional that your team wants to include in the contract)

Print Name Signature Date

Cole Giresi

Ashlynne Hobcroft

Ricky Kuntz

Ashley Gontram

Maxine Kooper

Erin Travis

We understand that each group member is responsible for their ​own, individual portfolio​ as
outlined below.

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Action Plan
This outline serves as a basic template for your action plan. Use additional space and resources
to help you build out each part with the right amount of detail and flow to ensure you have the
strongest action plan that you and your team can implement with ease. Remember, this is your
road map for your service project!

NOTE: You may not collect ANY money directly through this project. You may direct
donors to an organization's website where they can donate directly to the organization.

Team Local Goal


As a team, ​create a goal ​for service that uses at least one direct service, indirect service OR
advocacy that will address issue of biodiversity on a global scale.
Think about the following questions as you write your goal(s)
● Goal:​ Increase biodiversity at our local high school.
S.M.A.R.T Local Goal
➔ S​pecific​ - What, exactly, do you hope to accomplish? Be clear about all of the details
involved in your goal. Answer the “who, what, when, where, and why”
◆ We, as a group, want to accomplish an increase in biodiversity and maintain
ecosystems in the Wake Forest area by planting wildflowers around Heritage
High School and build and put in several bird houses around the community. This
will help us to achieve an increase in local biodiversity. This will occur on the
26th of May.
➔ M​easurable​ - How will you know you’ve achieved your goal? Be specific about what you
must do to successfully achieve it.
◆ In order to achieve this goal, we need to aquire wildflower seeds, wood (for the
birdhouse), and paint that is safe for the environment. The purpose of the
wildflowers is to attract insects such as bees and butterflies and the birdhouse will
attract birds. We will know that we’ve achieved our goal once the wildflowers
successfully grow, because only then will we be able to see an increase in
biodiversity.
➔ A​ttainable​ - Is your goal realistic or more of a dream? Don’t be afraid to dream big, but
be reasonable and set realistic goals.. This is called “right-sizing” your plan
◆ Our goal is realistic and attainable because we have been granted by the
agricultural science teacher to be allowed to plant wildflower seeds and put in
birdhouses.
➔ R​elevant​ - What is the value? Is the goal important in relation to the social issue you’re
working on? Does it pass the “so what?” test?
◆ Loss of biodiversity is a global issue that will continue to occur unless it is met
with a successful plan. The purpose of our project addresses an issue that could
threaten global existence; with the right matters taken, our project can create a
step in the right direction to increase biodiversity.

39
➔ T​ime-bound ​- ​Due 5/29​. What is a reasonable timeline you can set in order to
successfully complete the project by the deadline?
◆ A reasonable timeline we can set in order to successfully complete our project is
to have everyone complete the written portion by Friday May 25, so that we can
begin planting wildflowers and paint/build the birdhouses on the 26. This will
leave several days before the due date to make sure all reflections make sense and
are correct.

Team Global Goal​:


As a team, ​create a goal ​for service that uses at least one direct service, indirect service OR
advocacy that will address issue of biodiversity on a local scale.
Think about the following questions as you write your goal(s)
● Goal:​ Increase biodiversity globally by raising awareness.
S.M.A.R.T Global Goal
➔ S​pecific​ - What, exactly, do you hope to accomplish? Be clear about all of the details
involved in your goal. Answer the “who, what, when, where, and why”
◆ As a group, we hope to raise awareness globally by using our project as an
example many local communities around the world can accomplish too. As more
communities plant wildflowers, or plant other plant species, biodiversity will
increase. There are many different species of wildflowers that grow all over the
world. This means that any community that can successfully support plant growth
will be able to plant wildflowers. By spreading awareness, we are helping end the
global issue of loss of biodiversity.
➔ M​easurable​ - How will you know you’ve achieved your goal? Be specific about what you
must do to successfully achieve it.
◆ We will know that we have achieved our goal when more people become aware
of the issue of loss of biodiversity. We can spread awareness through social media
by showing the results of our project and how it affected our local environment.
➔ A​ttainable​ - Is your goal realistic or more of a dream? Don’t be afraid to dream big, but
be reasonable and set realistic goals.. This is called “right-sizing” your plan
◆ Our goal is realistic because at this day in age, social media is the best platform to
spread awareness globally. We are planning on making a twitter account that will
share our goal and how others can complete this goal too.
➔ R​elevant​ - What is the value? Is the goal important in relation to the social issue you’re
working on? Does it pass the “so what?” test?
◆ By sharing our goal globally, it increases the chances of a global increase in
biodiversity. Granted, being aware of the issue is very different to taking action,
but we are hoping that by showing how easy it is to increase biodiversity locally,
that enough communities will do it to accomplish our global goal.
➔ T​ime-bound ​- ​Due 5/29​. What is a reasonable timeline you can set in order to
successfully complete the project by the deadline?

40
◆ A reasonable timeline we are setting to successfully complete the project by the
deadline is to create a twitter account explaining our goals and what we are doing
to complete them. We will continue to use this account throughout the time that
we are planting to update our local community. By the completion of this project
(May 29) we are hoping to show how easy it is to increase biodiversity.
Required Network and Resources
In order to complete this goal, our team will need to ​develop the following​ network and access
the following resources:
Network
● What types of connections will you need to create with people within the school, your
community, different organizations and businesses, topic experts and speakers, media
outlets, the blogging/social media community, etc.?
○ Within the school and community, we will need to gain connections through our
social media sites and through creating a campaign in which they can participate
in.
● These people will serve as supporters and amplifiers as well as providers of information
and resources.

Resources
Identify ​the resources you will need to accomplish your goal. This can include (but not limited
to)
➔ Facts and statistics (found through research or materials from other organizations)
◆ According to the USDA, wildflowers are used to increase biodiversity by
providing ​seeds, insects, and other food for wildlife. Locally, the wildlife species
can include different types of birds, rabbits, and squirrels. Wildflowers are also
needed to provide erosion control, help filter groundwater and limit impacts of
drought, especially during the summer months.
➔ Tools and supplies
◆ tarp, hammer to crush up the chalk, bowl, organic eggs, birdhouses, paintbrushes,
bird food, wildflowers, shovel etc.
➔ Stories of individuals who benefit from the services of the organization
➔ Access to space and/or venues
◆ The town of Wake Forest is allowing our group to plant and maintain wildflowers
along the Smith Creek Trail behind Heritage High School.
➔ Methods and resources for producing necessary materials or media
◆ made a twitter account @BiodiversityI to advocate on a global scale the loss of
biodiversity.

Roles and Responsibilities


Explain​ how each team member will take on the following roles and associated responsibilities:

41
● We will all be leaders and make sure everyone is on task as well as completing their work
on time.
● Ashlynne will contact the town of Wake Forest in order to approve plating wildflowers
along the Smith Creek trail.
● Erin, Ashlynne, Cole, and Ricky are in charge of painting the bird houses.
● Ricky and Cole are responsible for buying all the materials we need and to make and
paint the bird houses.
● Maxine is in charge of purchasing the wildflowers.
● Maxine, Ashlynne, Cole, Erin, Ricky, and Ashley will plant the wildflowers and disperse
the birdhouses among Smith Creek near Heritage High School.

Timeline
Our team will use the following timeline to complete tasks and successfully carry out the action
to meet our goal(s). Each group member should be responsible for equal amounts of work.
Task
Provide a
Resources
detailed Date task to be
Person(s) Responsible Required to
explanation of Completed
Complete Task
task to be
completed

Met group to 5/15/18 Ashlynne, Ashley, Erin, Cole, A place to meet,


discuss the issue Ricky and Maxine paper and pencil.
at hand in which
we will be doing
in order to help
reduce the loss of
biodiversity.

Meet in order to 5/16/18 Cole and Erin Canvas, paint,


complete the resources and
problem tree for pencil(s).
investigation two.

Meet to be 5/19/18 Ashlynne, Cole, Ricky, Maxine, A place to meet


updated on what Erin and Ashley
has been
accomplished so
far and what
needs to be
accomplished in
the near future.

Build/buy 5/20/18 Erin, Ricky, Ashlynne, Cole Chalk, eggs,


birdhouses as water, cups, paint

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well as create our brush, car and
own organic paint money.
out of chalk, eggs
and water.

Meet one more 5/22/18 Erin, Ashley, Maxine, Ricky, Car and laptop.
time to finalize Cole and Ashlynne
planting
wildflowers
around HHS.

Plant wildflowers 5/26/18 Ashlynne, Ricky, Cole, Erin and Wildflower seeds,
near Heritage Maxine fertilizer, seeds
High School and and shovel.
Smith Creek.

Meet for a final 5/28/18 Ashlynne, Cole, Erin, Ricky, A place to meet,
time to complete Ashley and Maxine laptops.
the executive
summary. Also-
look over the
rubric.

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Reflection 4: Action Plan Reflection
Your team now has a plan for taking action globally and locally. Think back over what you have
learned: What problems associated with loss of biodiversity does your team’s action plan
address? How does your individual role in the plan support your team’s action? Think about the
following when writing this reflection:
● What is the topic that your team is taking action on? Why is this topic important
to you? Why is this topic important to your team?
● What action is your team planning to take?
● How does this action fulfill an opportunity identified in your needs assessment?
● Why is goal setting so important, and how can you imagine using goal setting
techniques in your life, future action plans, or other activities? How does your
action goal relate to your AP course?
● What kinds of leadership qualities do you hope to develop as you continue to take
action?
● Why is teamwork so essential to carrying out effective service projects to address
local and global issues?
● Having planned to make a difference on local and global issues, what have you
learned about your ability to create social change
Cole →
Throughout this course, and in more recent weeks with the reception of this project, the
loss of biodiversity has been touted as one of the most serious problems facing nature. For the
past couple of weeks, our team has decided to address this problem in a series of steps to help
mitigate local and global issues caused by this epidemic. When addressing this problem, it
cannot be confounded by a list of reasons why it is important to just me because this problem
affect humanity as a whole. Nonetheless, My team and I do believe that this problem is of
paramount importance simply because life is dependent on its outcome. The loss of biodiversity
will lead to numerous problems that could have detrimental effects on the globe and its future
inhabitants. My team, of six people, cannot single handedly remedy the problem of biodiversity.
Because of this, we have set realistic goals that will help spread the word and allow for more
man power in addressing this problem.
On a local level, we are more able to comprehensively oversee the process of addressing
issues that have an effect on the community as a whole. Our team has devised a plan to plant
flowers and seeds around the community that are native to North Carolina and are under siege by
invasive species, loss of habitat, and other potential threats that could wipe them out. We went
around, home to home, asking various residents to plant flowers in there garden, backyard, or
green space.
On a global level, our team needed an outlet to spread awareness about the effects of loss
of biodiversity. The loss biodiversity is not a well versed environmental topic on ordinary
people’s minds. In order to tackle this problem on a global scale, we realized that using a
platform, where many people could observe and listen to our message, was the only way to affect
real global change. So, in response to this, we chose twitter to be our outlet for our groups

44
message. We posted what we were doing, how we were doing it, what loss of biodiversity is, and
how our efforts were making a difference in our community. We realized that if we could just
explain the seriousness of our efforts to one person then this project would be a success. If one
person understood the gravity of loss of biodiversity then they could tell their friends and family,
and, eventually, the word would spread.
A problem I identified in my needs assessment was the ignorance prevalent among
humans about biodiversity and its importance. Our main mission was to educate people about the
seriousness of this issue. By starting a twitter and networking ourselves to people in the
community, we were able to educate numerous people about the loss of biodiversity. By doing
this, I am hopeful that those people will educate other people, leading to a plethora of knowledge
among copious amount of people around the country and the world.
Setting goals is extremely important when trying to accomplish any type of goal. Having
the motivation to go around the community and talk to people about this issue was made possible
by the thought of being able to affect real change in the environment around us. Analyzing my
academic, work, and personal life as a whole, goal setting is an extraordinarily important part of
my everyday routine. Whether it’s trying to teach people about the loss of biodiversity, make as
much money as possible at my job, or getting an A in an AP class, setting goals allows any
individual, including me, to be successful in my endeavors.
As we continue to take action, I hope to further develop the leadership qualities I already
possess. Overall, as a student, employee, and human in general, I tend to embrace positions of
leadership. This project has allowed me to utilize these skills and work to make a change in the
community. Moving forward, I will continue to use these skills to widen our outreach and
message to other people to further solve the problem.
Without our team, affecting change on a local and global level would be nearly
impossible. Having people help you organize your ideas, events, and other logistical information
is essential when carrying out a project like this. In doing this project, I have realized that social
change is very difficult to implement. In order to effectively accomplish a change is the social
construct, a team is essential to its success.

Maxine →
As a team, we are taking action by attacking the problems of loss of biodiversity in our
local community and globally through several different tactics. We began in class learning about
the effects of the loss of biodiversity as well as how to reverse this issue, helping my group
develop an attainable action plan. This topic is very important to me because after learning the
effects (i.e. over exploitation, melting ice caps, groundwater pollution, etc), I know that in order
to preserve biodiversity, change needs to occur. This reason is similar to why this topic is
important to my team because we have all researched and learned how biodiversity loss occurs
and we have collectively found a passion for spreading awareness about the need to increase
biodiversity.
In our local community, we have decided to plant wildflowers native to our region of
North Carolina in hopes to attract other native animal species such as native bees, moths,

45
butterflies, voles, and several native species of birds. If we were to introduce non-native species
wildflowers, they would eventually become invasive in order to compete for space, and would
push out and possibly eradicate the local native species. In order to stop the non-native plant
invasion, homeowners can use and take care of native plants around their home and property.
Doing this has more benefits than one; native plants generally grow well and require less care
than non-native species when grown on the proper soils under the right environmental
conditions. Thankfully, the wildflowers native to our region that we decided to plant are annual
and therefore are noninvasive because they will grow, flower, and die within one year or season.
Because of their short life, there is not enough time for the plant to spread, eventually becoming
invasive. Another way we decided to decrease the loss of biodiversity is to hang up birdhouses
around the community. Doing this helps house young birds, which helps promote the local bird
population. Birdhouses are vital to the bird population because they preserve species that would
otherwise be in danger.
Our group is taking action globally by spreading awareness of the causes and effects of
the loss of biodiversity. We decided that the most effective way to achieve this was to create a
twitter account. Through our twitter account, we explained the purpose of our project as well as
asking some poll information and questions such as “Biodiversity refers to the variety of life in
an ecosystem. Did you know what biodiversity was before now?” and “This rain is a reminder
that the pollutants on the roads are being washed into local streams and rivers, contributing to the
loss of biodiversity. Will you work to reduce the amount of pollutants you use?” The purpose of
these tweets is to give our followers information and see how they respond to questions relating
to the given information. After learning what biodiversity is and one contributor to the loss of it,
62% of voters wanted to work to reduce the amount of pollutants they use. Though the total of
voters is not a high number, our group still sees this percentage as a success because we have
educated our community on biodiversity loss. After identifying that many global communities
are unaware of this problem in my needs assessment, my group and I are hoping that by
spreading awareness in our local community, that our social media might be able to have the
same effect globally.
Setting goals is a step in the right direction for achieving goals. In order to successfully
execute a plan, goals can be used to provide direction and motivation. This is vital for projects
like this one because using the SMART outline helps set obtainable objectives for our group,
creating an easy to follow guideline for what we need to accomplish in order to get an A on our
project. Goal setting will always be a good strategy to use in life, future action plans, in other
activities, and in my future AP courses because it provides motivation that is required in order to
hold myself accountable.
What kinds of leadership qualities do you hope to develop as you continue to take action?
As I continue to take action, I believe that the leadership qualities that I currently possess
will only increase. Some of these qualities include being honest, creative, innovative, and
motivational come from my many years in school having to take the lead in group projects as
well as being an employee. These qualities have developed during this project from having to
create effective local and global goals that will prove to be successful as we continue with our

46
action. Even though leadership qualities are very important to have within a group project,
teamwork is essential. Without being able to collaborate on ideas, our group would not be
successful in carrying out effective service projects addressing both local and global issues. Each
individual group member was responsible for contributing to our goals, which each member did
successfully. By working together, our group will go above and beyond the bare minimum to
accomplish our goals. After planning to make a difference on local and global issues, I have
learned that there is strength in numbers, and with this strength, my group and I will be able to
create social change.

Ashlynne →
As three combined classes, everyone is focusing on the loss of biodiversity. Splitting into
smaller groups, every group took a different action plan. Our group decided to focus on
attraction. We planted wildflowers allowing more insects to be attracted to them. We also built
birdhouses and painted them using eco-friendly paint for birds to have shelter as well as a food
source. Focusing on myself, this topic is extremely important to me. After taking AP
Environmental Science, I have decided to fulfil a career relating to this subject. I have seen the
influence humans can have on the environment and the time that is left for these detrimental
effects to be reversed. I believe it is our rights as humans to keep the world a friendly place for
not just us, but for every other specie that was put onto this planet. Focusing on our team, this
topic was important to us because we believe that our environment needs to be saved. However,
we also wanted to participate in an action that was noticeable. Birdhouses will be noticed
throughout the community as well as the appearance of wildflowers. People seeing a change may
prompt them to participate in a change as well. This is what was important to us when creating
our action plan. My team is planning on building birdhouses as well as purchasing some along
with the needed supplies. For the birdhouses, my team will create eco-friendly, organic paint out
of water, chalk and egg yolks. We are planning on scattering these birdhouses throughout the
Smith Creek Trail. We are also continuing to do thorough research about the impact wildflowers
has on the environment and biodiversity. We decided that we will plant wildflowers along the
Smith Creek Trail near Heritage High School. By planting these wildflowers, species extinction
may be improved. Soil erosion may be decreased as well as a food source for certain species.
Some species are lacking a food source because of habitat destruction or competition, planting
these wildflowers are a possible food source as well as improving the physical appearance of the
community. Goal setting is very useful, especially when you’re under the pressure of time. Not
helping the world become a better, healthier place for all species, not just humans, is a potential
time bomb. Using goal techniques in the future will help me accomplish unimaginable things. By
setting a goal and creating a timeline, you allow yourself to be motivated and determined. My
action goal relates to AP Environmental Science because throughout the entirety of the class, we
have been focusing on different aspects of the environment. Learning these different topics, have
allowed me to discover that there are multiple things impacting biodiversity, not just one specific
source. As we continue to pursue our action plan, I hope to develop leadership qualities that will
allow me to better the environment in the future. I don’t plan on gaining many leadership

47
qualities that regard others, but I do wish to gain qualities that will have a long-lasting impact on
the environment. When creating change, individual voices are not as prominent when compared
to multiple voices. While looking at communital examples of ways change has been made, it is
seen that everything is done in groups. Whether these groups are local or if they are a part of a
large, global group, they are never a single person. If this project had been altered to an
individual project, the impact would have been reduced. It is simple, more voices are better than
one. After completing the take action part of our project, I learned how simple it is to help reduce
the loss of biodiversity. There are simple things one can do in order to help this dreadful case.
Simply planting flowers, using reusable water bottles or recycling can help the environment as
well as the reduction of biodiversity. I have also learned that gaining awareness is difficult, and it
doesn’t happen overnight. Becoming a global awareness project takes time and patience,
however this is difficult when time is running out. As a result, I wish our group would continue
this project in the future. Personally, I will continue to spread advocacy to my community to use
reusable water bottles, reusable bags at the grocery store, as well as planting wildflowers
throughout areas, where allowed.

Ashley →
Throughout the course of this project, our group has decided to take on the topic of loss
of biodiversity, both locally and globally, through several platforms. This topic has become
important to every member of the group because after taking this AP Environmental Science
course, we have all learned the true global impact of humans and what we are causing to happen
to the earth. The loss of biodiversity directly impacts my way of life and the community I live in,
therefore becoming of great importance to me. In order to reduce this loss, our team has come up
with a plan in which we can help to influence others and make a difference ourselves.
As we execute this plan, we will proceed to purchase birdhouses and paint the exterior
with eco-friendly paint, created with water, chalk, and egg yolks. These birdhouses will provide
a food source, as well as, a home for birds suffering from habitat destruction or competition,
causing a lack of resources. We will also be planting a variety of wildflowers along the Smith
Creek Trail. The wildflowers will also serve as a food source, as well as, a way to reduce soil
erosion. Goal setting is very important, especially when there is limited time.
Goal setting techniques can be utilized in my life and for future action plans because it
enhances time management skills, helps with organization and motivation. Our action goal
relates to AP Environmental Science course because throughout this class we have been
explaining and understanding the extent to which humans are affecting the earth. We have
learned about the detrimental effects of humans including pollution, habitat destruction, and
depletion of resources. As we continue to take action, I expect to develop leadership qualities
such as decision-making and communication skills, as well as creativity and accountability. In
terms of carrying out successful service projects, teamwork is essential because it is necessary
that all team members collaborate and effectively advocate for the environment and species
within it, as well as, other projects. Throughout this plan, I have learned that my ability to create
social change is greater than I originally thought. Reducing the loss of biodiversity can be

48
achieved through simple actions. One thing that has proven to be difficult is spreading awareness
due to the fact that it doesn’t happen quickly.

Erin → My group has taken upon the responsibility to express the loss of biodiversity concerns
in an effort to go out in the community to serve, advocate as well as educate the people on a local
and global scale. The factors associated with the loss of biodiversity interfere with the equipt
functioning of ecosystems, which makes them less susceptible to comply with human needs and
services. My group has decided to tackle this project because we can see this problem happen
here in Wake Forest with the new construction that is surfacing in the community such as
neighborhoods around Heritage High to meet the rising demand of people migrating to the area.
The group met to discuss what we thought would be a fun way to help support the effort in
which we came up with a few goals that outlined the action plan. Our first goal was to go out and
buy birdhouses where we would then paint them using eco-friendly paint using chalk, water and
organic eggs. We are still in the process of finalizing where the bird houses will go, but we hope
that they will be utilized as we near closer to summer. The bird houses will provide the local
species of birds to have a place to find food which will maintain their niche as well as increase
the population of the species.
Our next plan was to plant and grow wildflowers along the Smith Creek trail.
Incorporating these wildflowers in the town of Wake Forest will help to increase the air quality
because through the process of photosynthesis, plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen
which helps to give us clean air. Plants are also responsible for filtering water as it passes by to
make sure that pollutants are eliminated. Along with that these plants provide a source of food
for many species planting the wildflowers reduces many adverse effects in the environment as
well as it benefits the people while also adding to the beautification of Wake Forest.
Throughout the process, the group had to set goals along the way in order to fulfill the
needs of the assignment that would efficiently meet the criteria and efforts to help the cause of
the loss of biodiversity. Setting a goal was not only vital for this project, but also for life because
without having an end goal the work would not get done because you would have nothing to
work towards. The goals we set in our action plan relate to the AP course because they all pertain
to greater efforts on helping to the environment stay clean for all the life that helps sustain it. We
kept our plans related to the course as we learned them in a classroom setting. Throughout the
process as we begin to take on action, I hope to develop more critical thinking qualities that will
be essential in helping to problem solve the issues at hand. Teamwork is essential for any project
especially hands on one that involve addressing issues both globally and locally. We gave each
person in the group a different task in which they are held responsible to carry it out effectively.
Tackling on a huge project like this would not be able to be carried out without the help of my
other group members each bringing new ideas to the table. Along with teamwork, I have learned
that I have the ability to make a social change by spreading awareness on the topic. I found out
that most people do not know exactly what biodiversity is, which is why after I started to get the
world out more and more people joined the effort. We created a twitter account to help spread
awareness, which has already received great feedback from the general public.

49
Ricky →
Every AP Environmental Science class is working towards fixing the problem of
biodiversity. If the world does not work towards increasing biodiversity, food webs and food
chains will collapse and the world will collapse. Personally, I feel strongly about this problem
and I want the world to work together as a whole so we can continue to live on this beautiful
planet. A team of six people can not single-handedly fix the enormous problem of biodiversity
globally. But what we can and did do is spread awareness on the subject which we feel strongly
about and encourage others to join us in fixing the problem.
Every class split into smaller groups and took on an action plan they created. My group
decided to plant native wildflowers on a private residence and filled it with bird houses painted
with organic plant in hopes to attract birds, ladybugs, moths, crickets and other insects in order to
increase biodiversity locally. In order to increase biodiversity globally, we created a social media
account to spread awareness on the loss of biodiversity. We posted what we are doing, how we
are doing it and how other people can do the same thing we are doing. We also asked other
people to plant seeds in their gardens just as we did then asked them to ask their friends if they
would do the same. This would have a chain reaction and spread to maybe other countries to
increase biodiversity globally.
A problem I identified in my needs assessment was the idea that people have no idea
what biodiversity is. When people think about environmental issues, they usually go straight to
the problem of global warming. Our team did an amazing job on educating people both online
and in person. By making a social media and talking to our community members, I am very
confident that they will see that the loss of biodiversity is a very big problem and they will help
educate others.
If no goals are set, my group members and I would have no motivation to go around the
community and talk to people, we may have not even made a bird sanctuary, which came to be
one of our main goals of this project. Goal setting is one of the only way I get through my
classes, especially my AP courses. I try and set a goal of what I am going to learn and when I
should start my homework or project. I feel like the people who are unsuccessful fail the glass
because they do not set a goal for themselves.
I hope to progress in becoming a leader. As of right now I am apart of a club that is called
Leaders club, it helps me grow the qualities to become a good leader. Through taking action and
Leaders club I hope to have more integrity, be an inspiration, and be more creative.
Teamwork is the only way we had so much success on this action plan. Teamwork makes
a dramatic difference and you should always communicate with others on what you are trying to
do. I do not think it is possible for one man to change the world, you need the help of others to
give you inspiration and motivate you to do better. Alone, I would not make as much social
change as my group did. Locally it can be easy, but if you are working alone to create global
change, it is nearly impossible.

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Reflection 5: Taking Action
For a moment, step back from taking action. Think about what you’ve learned so far: As
you have worked to help carry out your team’s action plan, what has been most meaningful to
you? As you write, think about the following questions to help shape your reflection.
1. How will you continue the work that you and your team started with this project?
2. Changing the world is hard work, and a lot of fun too! What are the top three
lessons you have learned during your service project?
3. What is your story as an agent of change?
Cole →
1. Ensuring that the progress my group and I have made continues is supremely important to
me. I have high confidence that the amount of people we explained this issue to and the
amount of people they explain this issue to will serve to further the goal of this project.
These informed persons will help to inform and educate people about the disastrous
effects of the loss of biodiversity. In addition to that, we will work to continue to
maintain the flowers that we planted and make an effort to plant more flowers that will
have a positive effect on the community.
2. I have learned numerous lessons in the course of this project. The first lesson I have
learned is that (1) affecting social change is difficult, but you must persevere and
continue to work for the greater good. The second lesson I learned was (2) you must have
a team helping you when taking on a project that will have a lasting effect on the
community or the globe. The (3) third, and final, lesson I learned was that, when trying to
affect change on a global scale, it does not matter if you educate 20 people or 200 people,
what matters is that you changed someone's point of view. That will then change other
people's point of view and start a domino affect where the problem of biodiversity loss
will, eventually, be solved.
3. My team and I tried very hard to make a difference in the community and around the
globe. My story, as an agent of change, begins on the first day of the AP Environmental
Course. Learning about the detrimental effects humans can have on the planet and how
things, like biodiversity loss, will lead to its demise, had a lasting effect on me. In doing
this project, I kept in mind the idea that, while humans have contributed to the
detrimental effects we see on earth, there is still an opportunity to mitigate the negative
things we have done by giving back through service. Trying to fix what we have messed
up is the core message of my story as an agent of change. Devoting myself to that cause
will always be a value I cherish going forward in life.

Ricky →
1. I feel as if my group did a great job in ensuring people continue the legacy we started.
We explained the issue of biodiversity through social media and told people how we are
fixing it and how they can help. We also informed multiple people personally and told
them to plant seeds in their yards that are native to their area and then ask other people to

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do the same. The informed persons will help inform other people on the detrimental
effects of the loss of biodiversity and they will plant seeds to help the issue in their area.
2. Over the course of this service project I learned a multitude of things. (1) For one, I never
knew that it was so hard to fix a problem on a global scale, we really had to work hard in
order to even come up with an idea to increase biodiversity globally. (2) Another thing I
learned is that humans are very selfish and ignorant when it comes to problems like
biodiversity. The human race does not care what they are doing to the world and they will
continue to do whatever even if they know it is hurting the environment. (3) I also
learned that you need a hard working and devoted team in order to attack a big problem
like the one we attacked. Without the help of my team I would not of achieved anything
while doing this service project.
3. As an agent of change, my story starts on the first day of AP Environmental Science. I
learned about the negative effects humans have on the Earth and how the plant we live on
is perishing. Problems like biodiversity need to be fixed immediately. My story then
leads me to here, an 11th grade student working very hard to fix a problem I feel very
passionate about. I feel as if it is not too late to fix this problem, as well as other
problems. If the world works together, the Earth can be a better place and the
environment can improve, and that is the message of my story.

Erin → While stepping back from taking action it is important to look at what we have already
done as a group and the efforts I will continue to support and carry out after the project. I have
already decided that I want to spend more of my time helping out with the beautification of the
town of Wake Forest as I want to help clean up nearby streams and plant more in the community.
My dad and I have already started to plant trees and other plants in the yard. I also want to
continue to educate people on the matter because it all comes back to the humans and how we
are treating the Earth, which is why it is so vital to have others step forward and help out. The
few lessons I have learned during this project that are key is patience for once. You cannot
change the world overnight, it takes time to see the change you want to make which is why our
efforts cannot stop here, we need to continue the actions we have started. Another lesson I have
learned is that you need to be the change you want to see. While spreading the word is an
excellent way to gain awareness for others, you need to go out and start projects on your own
while asking others to help. Lastly, another lesson I took away was that teamwork was essential
in providing the groundwork for the project. With everyone’s efforts, we were able to go out in
the community and work collectively as a team to work towards our end goal of starting the
process of change on a local and global scale. As an agent of change, I would like to point out
the fact that starting off with a project may seem like just an idea because it is, however it is
important that you go through with these ideas. Throughout the process I have realized that there
needs to be an end goal in which you want to see the change happen. My group and I planned out
everything so articulately (refer to action plan 4) that we were able to execute these actions
efficiently getting the tasks done accordingly. My story of course began at the beginning of class
where I was exposed to the effects that, us humans, have on the environment. From there I began

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my research and learned in a class setting how to help. Going into the group project I knew right
away what needed to get done. Taking this course has opened my eyes to new challenges
everyday that are needed in order to form a better world for everyone.

Ashlynne → After completing this project, many groups will stop putting in effort to help reduce
the loss of biodiversity. They are completing this project for the grade, not taking in the full
purpose that the project is portraying. Individually, I will stop using reusable water bottles and
spread awareness about the harmful effects plastic has on the environment throughout my family
and my local community. When going to the grocery store, I will ensure that I have reusable
bags in possession so the use of plastic bags is limited. Throughout doing this project, I learned
many lessons. The first lesson I learned is that humans have a large impact on how we treat this
dredding case. Humans are the only living species that can reverse the effects that humans
themselves have caused. Some of the things humans can do to help are very simple. These vary
from using reusable items, to walking to short destinations, to managing the amount of water is
wasted. Another lesson I learned is that change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a long time for
change to happen. Spreading the word is extremely important when making change, but once the
word is out, change is easy. The third lesson I learned, is that change occurs better when working
in groups. Even though this idea was discussed in a previous reflection, I believe that this idea
was important and taught me a lesson that I hadn’t realized. Multiple voices fighting for the same
change, will have more of an impact rather than one individual. Our story as an agent of change
began on the first day of our AP Environmental Science class. On our first day, Mrs. Norris
introduced the topic of biodiversity loss. However, we lacked the knowledge of how large of an
issue the loss of biodiversity is. Throughout the course, we have been taught on the different
areas of our environment such as hydrosphere, the atmosphere, pollution and many other areas.
Throughout each of these areas we learned how biodiversity is declining because of the impact
humans have had. Over the entirety of the class, we have gone in depth about the impact humans
have had. This has sparked interest throughout the course of how humans have had such a large
impact. Especially when reading ​Ishmael​, the topic of destruction of biodiversity was extremely
present. When writing ​Ishmael, ​the story of change really caught my attention. Our project was a
small step in the right direction to reverse the detrimental effects that have been made.

Ashley →
1. I feel as though after this project has concluded, many groups will cease to continue
advocating for the environment. Unlike these groups, our team will provide ongoing
services to the birdhouses and wildflowers we have planted and hung. We will also
maintain the flowers that have been planted and work to plant additional flowers in other
locations. In conjunction to the work that our group will do, I have confidence in the
people in our community that we have informed about the situation to spread awareness
of the problems and explain it to others in the community.

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2. Over the course of this service project, I have learned several lessons. The top three are
(1) changing the world and the effects of humans starts with several small actions, but
won’t happen overnight, (2) informing people of the situation and spreading awareness
takes more than one person. In order to have a lasting effect on the views of other people,
a team is necessary. The last lesson I learned was (3) humans are the number one cause of
the loss of biodiversity. Ironically, we also have the largest impact on reversing their
effects on the environment.
3. My story as an agent of change began at the start of this AP course. When I first learned
about the true effects that humans have on the earth, I was astonished and wanted to
begin reversing the impacts. Throughout the course, I have begun to see the detrimental
effects in my everyday life. It has solidified the evidence that I did not previously believe,
that if we continue on this path, our actions will lead to the demise of the earth. Through
doing this project, it has given me the opportunity to fix the problems we have caused by
devoting my time to advocating for the local community.
Maxine →
After my group an I finish this project, we are not planning to stop advocating for our
cause, which is decreasing the loss of biodiversity. We have learned countless ways on how to
increase biodiversity, however, we chose to accomplish this goal by planting native wildflowers
and hanging up birdhouses. We decided to go into this direction because it is one of the most
efficient and easiest ways to achieve our goal on a local and global level. We will continue to
spread awareness throughout our community about the benefits of attracting native species by
encouraging those to do what we did, plant native species. Also, the seeds we planted will be
taken care of throughout the year by being watered and by removing invasive weeds. Since these
flowers are annual, they will not live long enough to become invasive, therefore, they will serve
their purpose for the duration of their lifespan.
During our service project, I have learned that choosing a topic that I have prior
knowledge about makes the goals my group set a lot more attainable. At Heritage High School, I
have taken many agricultural science classes such as Agriscience, Horticulture I, and
Horticulture II. These classes provided me with a lot of prior knowledge, for instance, I know
many native flower species, how invasive species contribute to the loss of biodiversity, and how
to properly maintain wildflowers. Without learning this, my group and I would have difficulty
properly making our community aware of our cause and its impact on loss of biodiversity. The
next lesson I learned was without my wonderful group members, attaining our goal would have
been a lot more difficult. As many influencers have said, there is strength in numbers, and this is
true; we each contributed several significant parts to help achieve our goal. Without each part,
this project would not have this much success and impact on the community as it did. The final
lesson that I learned throughout this project was that many people are completely oblivious of
the fact that the loss of biodiversity is a global matter. By creating our twitter account and
continuing to spread awareness throughout the community, we are hoping to express how serious
this issue is and how communities can come together to achieve our goal.

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As an agent of change, my story commences in APES class at the beginning of the
semester when we began to learn about biodiversity and its causes and effects. What shocked me
the most was learning that humans contributed to the vast majority of biodiversity loss. After
obtaining this information, I immediately began making connections in other classes as well as in
everyday circumstances. For example, in Horticulture we learned about GMOs and how they led
to an increase in groundwater pollution and pesticide use, both leading to biodiversity loss. As
well as in everyday life, I began to notice all of the deforestation occurring locally due to new
neighborhoods being built which leads to the destruction of habitats and an increase in
biodiversity loss. By beginning to learn all about biodiversity, I hope that my story as an agent of
change has just begun, and will continue as I proceed to spread awareness about the detrimental
effects of biodiversity loss.

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Executive Summary
Once your team has completed your action(s), submitted your portfolio, and celebrated your
work, complete an executive summary as a team. The executive summaries should be specific to
the AP® course subject and offer a snapshot in 500-1,000 words of your team’s outcomes based
on:
For the past couple of weeks, our group has worked to make a difference in regards to the
loss of biodiversity. After realizing the problem, we devised a plan to help spread the word
through Twitter and worked to explain the issue to local residents in Wake Forest. The
detrimental effects that humans have caused to the planet was the primary reason as to why our
team was so dedicated to fixing the various issues in our community. By networking ourselves
with residents in the community and trying to raise awareness on global scale, we challenged the
social construct and were able to get numerous goals accomplished.
In order to affect real change on a local and global scale, we had to ensure that each
person had specific, logistical duties. The following is a list of duties that each person were
responsible for: (Cole) assisting with the creation of the problem tree, facilitating the purchase of
two birdhouses, researching flowers that are native to North Carolina, buying the flowers that
were planted around the community, helping plant flowers around the community, and putting
up birdhouses in various resident’s yards; (Ashlynne) creating eco-friendly paint, helping plant
wildflowers around the community, and traveling to a hardware store to purchase soil for the
flowers; (Ricky) building and painting birdhouses, contributing financially to various group
expenditures, and assisting with the creation of eco-friendly paint; (Ashley) developing various
ideas about incorporating birds and flowers into the project, assisted with the creation of
eco-friendly paint, and helped contribute to various expenditure that were vital to our groups
success; (Erin) assisting with the problem tree graphic organizer, assisting with painting the bird
house, and helping facilitate willing residents to plant flowers in their yards; (Maxine) organizing
the areas in which we would plant wildflower seeds, creating a plant sanctuary, and contributing
to expenditures involving flower seeds. Despite having our own personal duties, we collaborated
quite extensively throughout this project and made great strides in our endeavors as a group.
In order to accomplish our goal, we decided to start a Twitter to help spread the word. In
the course of our project, we gained 21 followers. While that may not seems like a lot of
followers, we believe it was a complete success. We believed this was a success because 21
followers means that 21 people, each having at least 1 friend and a family, will help to spread the
word about the drastic effects of biodiversity loss. One of our tweets received 18 likes, meaning
that 18 people, with numerous followers, helped to facilitate the delivery of our core message.
Other tweets received multiple likes and retweets and our twitter polls got numerous votes which
allowed us to fully explore the amount of knowledge possessed by our peers. In regards to this
topic, the tangible evidence collected by the Twitter account was extraordinarily helpful in trying
to accomplish our goal.
Our project, we believe, had a great impact on both local and global communities.
Locally, we talked to our community about the advantages of planting native wildflowers as well
as distributing bird houses throughout our environment. Globally, we are hoping to spread the

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word so that other organization and governments can work to reduce the loss of biodiversity. We
created our twitter page (@BiodiversityI) in order to spread awareness to local residents and
people in other regions. With the amount of time allotted for this project, it was not ideal for
reaching our maximum potential. If more time was allotted, the impact our group was attempting
to make could have been greater. Planting wildflowers throughout our community allows native
animals and insects to increase in specific areas, but it does not necessarily have a global effect.
By attempting to inform people through Twitter, we hope, with the help of our followers, we can
spread the word about this environmental issue. By accomplishing what we did, we will, at the
very least, have a lasting effect on the community and the residents that participated in our
environmental advocacy campaign. We are confident that birds and native flower species will
benefit greatly from our work in the community and in the Twitter sphere.
This AP course has taught our group numerous principles that will help us live our lives
in conjunction with the success of the planet rather in spite of it. Overall, AP Environmental
Science has reinforced that humans are the root cause of the earth’s ailments. We have
desomated its natural resources, overpopulated its land masses, and killed its animals. In this
course, we have realized that it is up to our generation to help fix the problems that we have
caused. This project has allowed us to give back to the earth, and if it has benefited, even in the
slightest regard, we can call our efforts a success. Ultimately, AP Environmental Science has not
just taught us environmental concepts, but has instilled a way of life in the hearts and minds of
the students who chose to embrace its message.

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Reflection 6: Individual Final Reflection

Ashlynne →
The loss of biodiversity has been an ongoing topic of discussion for many years. The main cause
of this destruction starts with humans. These humans have their specific issues attached such as
overpopulation, habitat destruction and the overuse of plastic products. These issues all go back
to the constant, exponential growth of the population. The ecosystem provides many benefits that
are essential in the successful living of the human specie. Pavan Sukhdev goes into further detail
about the effects and benefits that will be lost if biodiversity isn’t preserved in his “Put a value
on nature!” Ted Talk. We were prompted with this topic in order to complete our final project for
our AP Environmental Science class. We were given a guideline of tasks to complete, while
given the freedom to create our own path in order to help aid the issue of biodiversity loss. After
splitting up into chosen groups, an action plan was created. Focusing on the idea of preserving
biodiversity as well as creating attraction throughout the plan, planting wildflowers and creating
environmentally-friendly birdhouses was the end goal for the action portion of the project. The
first course of action taken regarded purchasing birdhouses and discovering a way to create
eco-friendly paint. After purchasing birdhouses as well as building a couple, eco-friendly paint
was created by using chalk, egg yolks and water. The paint was clumper than expected, but it
still fulfilled its purpose. After allowing the birdhouses to dry, they were placed along private
property with an end goal that birds would be attracted to them and providing them with shelter.
The original intent of the project was to place birdhouses throughout the Smith Creek Trail,
however failing to get permission, this idea was unsuccessful. Disappointed that a larger group of
people wouldn’t see the birdhouses, the choice of placing the birdhouses on private property was
made. After placing the birdhouses throughout different communities in allowed places, the next
step for action was purchasing the wildflowers and planting them in organized areas. The first
area was an organized area that the group built at a private residence, with permission of course.
The choice of flowers were strictly based on growing conditions as well their native locations.
After learning the problems that can result with invasive species, it was vital for the project to
only contain native species. The second choice of action for the wildflower part of the project
was going around to local families in the community asking if they would plant a single
wildflower. Guiding the families to ensure they would indeed plant the flower was vital.
However, the show must go on. The course of action cannot stop only because the due date has
passed. Personally, I will continue to plant wildflowers in local areas, only where it is legal. I
will also take small steps to help the larger picture of reducing the loss of biodiversity. This issue
is extremely important to me and confuses me as to why it isn’t important to the rest of the
population.

Ashley →
Over the course of this project, I have learned several things about the environment, the
effects of humans, teamwork, and myself. This assignment has shown me the importance of goal

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setting, commitment, and communication. Without these strategies, our group would not have
been able to achieve an effective campaign and spread awareness of the loss of biodiversity.
Throughout this research, several aspects of the environment have become a concern to
me. These needs include high rate of extinction, pollution, habitat destruction, overpopulation,
and climate change. These areas are different causes and effects of the loss of biodiversity.
Biodiversity is the variation of life in the world or a specific habitat. It supports the health of the
planet and has a direct impact on every living thing on the Earth. The depletion of Earth’s
support system has detrimental effects. These effects include, but definitely are not limited to,
overexploitation of resources, climatic instability, melting of ice caps, increased competition
between animals, and groundwater pollution. If these ongoingly occur, the Earth will continue to
degrade and effectively cease to function.
After compiling this large amount of research, I have come to the conclusion that the
number one cause of the loss of biodiversity is overpopulation. Due to the vast amount of people
on the planet, many causes of the loss of biodiversity are being intensified. This included climate
instability and habitat destruction. Fossil fuels are being burned at an increasing rate to provide
for every human. With the increasing rate of humans, there is an increasing rate of the need for
housing and shelter. This creates a need for land, which causes millions of acres of land to be
cleared. This clearing of trees results in a number of species losing homes to habitat destruction.
In an attempt to correct the effects of humans, our group has purchased multiple
birdhouses and painted the exterior with eco-friendly paint, created with water, chalk, and egg
yolks. These birdhouses will provide a food source, as well as, a home for birds suffering from
habitat destruction or competition, causing a lack of resources. We also planted a variety of
wildflowers throughout the Heritage community. The wildflowers will also serve as a food
source, as well as, a way to reduce soil erosion. While carrying out these actions, I have truly
learned the importance of teamwork, along with communication. Without these, we would not
have been able to effectively spread our message and advocate for the local environment.
In addition to understanding the effects of teamwork, I also learned a number of things
about myself throughout this project. I have begun to understand that my ability to create social
change is greater than I originally thought, but I cannot do it alone. In order to successfully
spread awareness, I need to inform others of the problems and help them understand the severity
of their actions. Reversing the effects of humans starts with small, simple actions throughout
your community, but you cannot expect a huge impact overnight. To have a great influence on
the actions of people around you, you have to keep going and continue to advocate for the
change you want to see in the world.

Erin →
To reflect back on the entire project, I wanted to highlight some of our
projects/awareness efforts that we incorporated as well as the benefits that are associated with
these actions. Our first call to action happened when we all put our heads together to begin the
thinking process on how we wanted to efficiently carry out the ideas we were coming up with.
The first thing that came to mind was to purchase birdhouses, which we gathered from Lowe’s

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and then made eco-friendly paint to paint them with so that this would attract the birds. In order
to do this, we mixed chalk, water and organic eggs to produce the paint. Our next goal was to
incorporate wildflowers in Wake Forest which would add to the beautification of the area as well
as act as a food supplies for many species while increasing the levels of oxygen in the air.
Throughout this entire project team building and collaboration was essential because we
had to tackle this project as a team hands on. Each group member brought new ideas to the table
which we were able to incorporate them to convey the message on both a local and global scale.
Going out in the community allowed me to understand that our town, Wake Forest, is
experiencing the loss of biodiversity as seen where we are nearer to the issue in regards to
overpopulation. Overpopulation is a leading factor in the loss of biodiversity because it leads to
the increase in per capita usage, overharvesting as well as the destruction of many areas of land.
This is apparent as seen with surrounding neighborhoods that are in the process of being built to
pave the way for the increasing families that are moving in the area.
Along with habitat destruction and other factors that are detrimental to the environment, I
think it is vital that people must be educated on the harmful effects in which us humans can have
on the Earth. To spread this awareness, my group and I decided to make a twitter account to
begin to push for a social change (@BiodiversityI). I myself was unaware that I had the ability to
be able to see such a vast change in a quick amount of time. We began by tweeting out which
challenged people from all around the world to plant wildflowers and other native plants in their
area or at home. The results we received were outstanding, many people within and outside of
the community decided to help the efforts which made the project much more meaningful to see
people within the community come together.
Overall my takeaway from this entire project was that it was a great way in which it
allowed myself and others to get out into the community to help a good cause. The loss of
biodiversity needs to be taken seriously just as any other environmental concern, however this
one is particularly significant because it pertains to the life here on Earth. Without one thing,
there would not be another, which is why we need to preserve all forms of life. In the end it all
boils down to the humans who are the ones behind all problem. Although that is the case, we are
also the ones who can facilitate change which needs to happen now as it is not too late to begin
to save this great world we are all living in.

Cole →
This project, and AP Environmental Science in general, has been surprising, to say the
least. In the course of this project and class, we have learned about numerous topics and
reinforced the belief that humans are absolutely the cause of every environmental issue currently
discussed in the 21st century. The fact that we are at the epicenter of every environmental issue
has instilled a sense of guilt in me personally, which is why I believe this project is so important.
While we may not have solved the issue of biodiversity loss, the fact that we contributed, even in
the slightest regard, to something greater than ourselves helps to reassure what we have done as
being great.

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We accomplished a series of goals in this project to help affect change in local and global
communities. To start out, we had to identify the problem and devise a plan to tackle it.
Obviously, the problem was the loss of biodiversity. This problem was evidenced by the various
instances in which species have suffered as a result of invasive species, habitat destruction, and
other environmentally disastrous issues. What motivated us to give back was the fact that these
environmental dilemmas, for the most part, were caused by humans in some way. Being a
human, helping to mitigate the issues, in whatever way possible, was of paramount importance to
our team.
After coming to this realization, we devised a plan to help affect change in our local and
global communities. The plan started with an idea about planting flowers and hanging up
birdhouses. This was very vague, but, as a team, we dug further and tried to figure out a way in
which people around the community could participate. So, we traveled to a hardware store,
bought bird house, birdfeed, flowers, and flower seeds. Immediately, we ensured that these
flowers were native to North Carolina and then set to work to get them in the hands of local
residents. We went door to door helping Heritage students and neighbors plant a flower in their
yards. By doing this, we helped to increase the population of a native flowers in the region.
Another aspect to this project was the idea of creating a personal garden in which native flowers
and flower seeds would be planted. So, we built a garden and planted both seeds and flowers.
Finally, we went to various private properties, owned by our personal group members, and hung
birdhouses to help increase the population of native birds in the area.
During the course of developing this plan and implementing it, we realized that this was
not going to affect biodiversity loss, in a positive way, on a global scale. So, as a team, we
decided to start a Twitter. This Twitter account would be used strictly for raising awareness
about biodiversity loss. We decided that one of the biggest global issues in regards to
biodiversity loss was the fact that people do not know what it is or the affect in has on the world.
We gained 20 followers, all of whom know other people who know other people. This small
account may have informed hundreds, if not thousands, of people who follow the various
accounts associated with ours. We believed this was a complete success.
Ultimately, we did not solve the problem of biodiversity. We did not end the desomation
of native flowers to North Carolina. We did not stop the onslaught of attacks against the
environment by humans. But we did accomplish something. We informed and educated our
friends, family, and acquaintances about the terrible consequences our actions can have around
the globe. Even if we were not able to tell every person on Earth about biodiversity loss, we were
still able to make a difference, even in the slightest regard, to the people around us. Every change
starts with one person and we may have started the domino affect needed to mitigate this ever
growing epidemic.

Ricky →
In taking AP Environmental Science, I learned some very interesting things to say the
least. I believe that the problems I learned about in the environment occur because of the
ignorance and selfishness of humans. I believe that the project my group did and the action plan

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we came up with could be an inspiration to other classes and the community of Wake Forest to
make a difference and spread awareness of the issue of the loss of biodiversity
My group and I went through a lot to make change happen, and we can not even see a
slight change in the increase of biodiversity. We need everyone to make the change we want. My
group accomplished several goals we put into place to help affect change locally and globally.
We started out by making a social media account on Twitter to spread awareness on the
cause we feel very passionate about. We tweeted several times about what the problem is and
how people can fix it. Even though it did not have very many followers, I feel as if it still spread
to many people who did not even know what biodiversity was until they read it.
We also built and bought birdhouses to attract birds, which attract other animals to
increase biodiversity in the area. We painted the birdhouses to make them more attractive with
homemade, organic paint. The paint was created from chalk, water and eggs which do not harm
the environment at all, unlike the usual spray paint. We then took it even further and created a
small garden made out of bricks to plant native wildflowers to attract small animals like insects.
We knew that doing this would only make little impact locally, but we took it even
further. We asked other locals to watch what we are doing and then inspired them to do the same
thing. We had many people plant flowers in their own yards and asked them to ask their friends
to continue doing it too. Over time this could result in a domino effect that could spread all the
way across the globe.
I believe that if the human race comes together, problems like the loss of biodiversity will
dissolve. Damaging the Earth and killing off animals is unacceptable. My group educated others
on the awful consequences of our actions and asked them to change. I believe this made our
action plan successful.

Maxine →
This project has been an eye opener for me in many different aspects. I have learned
about the main causes of loss of biodiversity, climate change, genetically modified organisms,
habitat destruction, invasive species, and human overpopulation, however, these can all be
attributed to human overpopulation. From prior knowledge as well as what I have already
learned in AP Environmental Science, I knew that humans had a negative effect on the world and
its inhabitants, but this project has shown me the depths of our actions. I have also learned
throughout this project how important it is to set goals as well as how to work successfully
within a group. Without these skills, I believe my group and I would have been a lot less
successful with obtaining our local and global goals.
Given our problem, the loss of diversity, we decided to address this issue both locally and
globally. In a local aspect, we devised a plan to incorporate both birdhouses and wildflowers as a
way to decrease the loss of biodiversity. We decided that a perfect location for our wildflowers
would be the Smith Creek Trail, right behind Heritage High School. However, after emailing the
person in charge of the trails from the Town of Wake Forest, we were denied the opportunity to
plant on public property, but advised to do this on private property. As a group, we decided to
build a garden on private property and plant wildflowers native to our region as well as two full

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grown Bee Balm plants which are also native to our region. We chose to plant annual
wildflowers to ensure that they will never become invasive because they will grow, flower, and
die within one year or season. We also went to our local community members and explained how
they can do the same thing as we did by using wildflowers to increase biodiversity. By doing
this, we helped educate others outside of our friend groups to take one step in the right direction
to achieving our goals. As well as planting wildflowers, we also set up birdhouses included with
birdseed. Birdhouses help promote the local bird population as well as providing a temporary
home for baby birds.
In order to also affect biodiversity loss on a global scale, we had to use a platform that
my group and I could use to effectively accomplish this. We chose to use a Twitter account to
raise awareness (@BiodiversityI). Throughout the time we worked on the project, we gained a
total of 21 followers and informed them what biodiversity was, along with sharing a story from
local resident of the Town of Wake Forest. Though we did not accomplish much, within the time
we were given we achieved our goals of educating the internet.
After successfully completing this project, I learned that change cannot happen overnight,
especially if I am alone. Working together will all of my group members helped me understand
the importance of conflict resolution and communication. There were several times when some
group members could not meet up or some members were behind, but in order to avoid conflict
and increase communication, I, or another team member, took a nice approach when dealing
with these minor situations. In the end, we all understood that we would have been unsuccessful
without everyone's contributions and know that even though our project seemed to have little
impact, that each person we informed has now learned about the detrimental effects of their
everyday lives. With this knowledge, we can only hope that they begin to take small steps into
reducing their footprint on the world in order to decrease the loss of biodiversity.

Ashlynne Sources
http://www.rainforestconservation.org/rainforest-primer/rainforest-primer-table-of-contents/j-rai
nforest-role-in-the-water-cycle/
https://www.rainforesttrust.org/news/owed-to-nature-medicines-from-tropical-forests/
http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/

Cole Sources
http://www.everythingconnects.org/overpopulation-effects.html

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