Science experiments with snakes?
This weekend my Advanced College Level Tri-Science group (physics, chem, biology majors stuffed into one class) is going on a scientific trip to Beaver Island in Northern Michigan. There, there is a representation of all climates within Michigan, marshlands, plains, taiga, swamps, beaches, bogs, etc. Unfortunately my investigation group of 6 ppl picked a old field which is a plain field that has may have a few snakes. We need to conduct a formal experiment incorporating 2 of the three major sciences. We need standard stuff like procedure, variables, etc, etc.
Usually the best investigations for student projects involve yes or no answers. Also, quantification of results is a plus.
You also need to ask a relevant question, have the resources to answer it, and the statistical background to analyze it.
So saying that: just measuring the physical parameters and biotic parameters of a single habitat isn’t going to be that meaningful. What is needed is a comparison. The center of the field vs. a nearby habitat which is different?
One could measure plant density, species diversity, soil temperatures (at different depths), organic material in the soil, soil profiles, soil species (berlese funnels), etc.
Read up on soil measurements and find out if you have the equipment to do the various tests. Figure out how to measure sunlight and canopy measurements. Do you have soil thermometers? Can you measure at different depths at time intervals during the day?
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