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One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, No Fish? The Current Situation and Possible Future of Aquatic Animals in the United States

This article is from Issue Facts to the Future - Vol. 5 No. 1.

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The scientists in this study were asked to develop information about the status of and trends in aquatic animal species populations across the United States. 

Welcome to the Facts to the Future edition

Education Standards Correlations


Meet the scientists that contributed to this article:

"Science Topics" covered in this article:
  • Earth Science

"Environmental Topics" covered in this article:
  • Fish and Aquatic Species (Educators)
  • Fish and Other Aquatic Species (Students)
  • Wildlife and Endangered Species (Educators)

Regions covered in this article:
  • Alaska
  • Intermountain
  • Northern
  • Pacific Northwest
  • Pacific Southwest
  • Rocky Mountain
  • Southern
  • Southwestern

"Thinking About Science Themes" covered in this article:
Scientists try to solve problems or answer questions by collecting information and doing an analysis of the information they have collected. If they have enough time and money, scientists usually collect their own data. If they do not have enough time or money, or if the kind of data they need are already available, they will analyze (an uh liz) data already collected by other scientists. In this study, the scientists did not have enough time or money to collect their own data. Instead, they used data already collected by other scientists to help them answer their questions. You do the same thing when you write a school paper on a topic not familiar to you. You collect information from other sources, such as the Internet, the library, or encyclopedias. When you collect information to write a paper, you are like the scientists in this study!
Specific "Thinking About Science" Themes:
  • Characteristics of Scientists
  • The Scientific Process

"Thinking About Environmental Themes" covered in this article:
Since the pilgrims landed in Massachusetts in 1620, more than 500 plant and animal species have become extinct in the United States. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is charged with protecting species from extinction (eks tink shun). To do this, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service studies the populations of animals and plants. When they find a plant or animal species that is in immediate danger of becoming extinct, they classify it as endangered . When the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finds a plant or animal species that is likely to become endangered, it is classified as threatened. Being classified as threatened or endangered provides the plant or animal species with special consideration that protects it from human activities that would further threaten or endanger it.
Specific "Thinking About the Environment" Themes:
  • Ecosystems

NSE Standards covered in this article:
  • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry (A)
  • Nature of science (G)
  • Populations and ecosystems (C)
  • Populations, resources and environments (F)
  • Regulation and behavior (C)
  • Reproduction and heredity (C)
  • Risks and benefits (F)
  • Science and technology in society (F)
  • Science as a human endeavor (G)
  • Understandings about scientific inquiry (A)

Science Benchmarks covered in this article:
  • Common Themes: Constancy and Change
  • Common Themes: Scale
  • Common Themes: Systems
  • Habits of Mind: Critical-Response Skills
  • Human Society: Social Change
  • Human Society: Social Trade-Offs
  • The Living Environment: Interdependence of Life
  • The Nature of Science: Scientific Inquiry
  • The Nature of Science: The Scientific Enterprise
  • The Nature of Technology: Technology and Science
  • The Physical Setting: The Earth