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There's Snow Place Like Home: Tracking the Range of Wolverines Over Time

This article is from Issue Climate Change - Vol. 14 No. 1.

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Wolverines, the largest terrestrial member of the weasel family, are mammals that are difficult to find. Because they live in areas far from humans and human development, therefore, not much is known about these mammals. Neither the current nor historical range of wolverines in the lower 48 States was well known before the work of these scientists. The scientists in this study, therefore, wanted to accurately map the wolverines’ range over time and evaluate how climate change might be affecting their range.

Welcome to the Climate Change edition

Note to Educators

Journal Lesson Plan

Word Search

Word Scramble

Education Standards Correlations

Reflection Section Answer Guide


Additional Resources for this Article:
Meet the scientists that contributed to this article:

"Science Topics" covered in this article:
  • Earth Science
  • Life Science
  • People and Science

"Thinking About Science Themes" covered in this article:
It is important for scientists to gather correct information or data about the topic they are studying. Not all information is reliable information. Scientists, therefore, need to be able to determine whether the data they are collecting are reliable. In this study, scientists gathered information from museums, literature, and archived material at State and Federal buildings. Once they gathered all their information, they did not use any that was unreliable or not well documented. When scientists (or you) use the Internet, care must be taken to know the source of the information. Usually, it is best to use Internet sites from State and Federal Governments (.gov), universities (.edu), or trusted sites like National Geographic. If the scientists in this study did not feel confident about their data source, they did not use that information. As a result, some information that may have been useful was lost. It is important for scientists to keep accurate and reliable data so that their findings will be correct. You have heard your teacher ask you to carefully write down your observations and data during experiments at school. Now you can see why that is important!
Specific "Thinking About Science" Themes:
  • Characteristics of Scientists
  • The Scientific Process

"Thinking About Environmental Themes" covered in this article:
The Endangered Species Act is a law that was created in 1973 to protect species that are threatened with or in danger of extinction. There are many reasons a plant or animal species may be placed on the endangered species list. For example, an animal’s habitat may be getting smaller because humans are building their houses in that area. If an animal loses its habitat, it may not be able to survive in another habitat. In this study, scientists examined wolverine habitat to see what things may be shrinking the wolverine’s geographic range. Their geographic range is where wolverines are found across the United States and Canada.
Specific "Thinking About the Environment" Themes:
  • Habitat

NSE Standards covered in this article:
  • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry (A)
  • Diversity and adaptations of organisms (C)
  • Natural hazards (F)
  • Nature of science (G)
  • Populations and ecosystems (C)
  • Regulation and behavior (C)
  • Reproduction and heredity (C)
  • Science and technology in society (F)
  • Science as a human endeavor (G)
  • Structure of the earth system (D)
  • Understandings about science and technology (E)
  • Understandings about scientific inquiry (A)