VC Investigations

Investigation Number One

Mendel and the Species Problem

B

Reading Assignment

1) WWW: Science at a Distance: Meet Brother Gregory: Chapter the First.

Read about Gregor Mendel (Brother Gregory); who he was; where he lived; what was his research about; what kind of results did he get. Begin by reading the fictionalized story and discover the main characters. Later re-read this material and follow the hyperlinks in the text that lead to the various scientific principles Mendel discovered.


B

First "Assignment Questions":

  1. Who was Gregor Mendel?
    (write about two paragraphs for each of the assigned questions).

  2. What exactly was the research that Brother Gregory was carrying out?
    (Warning - read the story carefully!).

  3. How and where did Brother Gregory report the results of his research?

  4. How was this exciting research greeted by other scientists?

  5. Why did Brother Gregory have a 'species problem'?

    (You should create a word processor document of your answers to the assigned questions. Then (a) post the resulting document on the appropriate page of the newsgroup (if required), and (b) keep it safe for possible inclusion in your portfolio.)


B

2) Here is your first research assignment from Brother Gregory.

Brother Gregory has a friend in the Brno Natural History Society who has just returned from an extensive field trip around the world. During this trip he saw many new organisms and many different examples of previously known organisms. He has put together a collection of 'Folios' (pages of drawings and illustrations) and a few notes about what he saw and what he was told. Now he has returned to Brno with his Folios and has asked his friend Mendel to help him sort them out.

Brother Gregory thinks that it would be a good idea to put all these different organisms into a series of groups, but he is not sure how to do this. He turns to you, his new researcher, for help. Brother Gregory wants you to look at all the organisms represented in the Folios; decide on what kinds of groups are needed and then place all the organisms into the appropriate groups. This is a process called - "Classification".

---> First Experiment <---

WARNING! - this file contains a lot of images, it will take some time to down load - be patient!

You should put into your portfolio:

  1. A classification scheme (taxonomy) showing the groups (taxa) that you have created and give the rationale for the scheme they have adopted.
  2. A list of all the organisms seen in the Folios, and showing in which group each organism should be placed.

HELP!
- Having problems getting started? - Ask Mendel's Mother for some assistance.


B

Second "Assignment Questions":

(Remember - write one or two paragraphs for each of the assigned questions).

  1. What is a taxonomy?

  2. Give two examples of current taxonomies used in biological science.

  3. Why do scientists classify organisms into groups?

  4. What is a good example of a modern classification criterion?

  5. What is a species?

    (You should create a word processor document of your answers to the assigned questions. Then (a) post the resulting document on the appropriate page of the newsgroup (if required), and (b) keep it safe for possible inclusion in your portfolio.)


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Science at a Distance
© 1998, 1999, 2000 Professor John Blamire