Iowa Public Television

K-12 Connections Event
Declining Habitat: Where the Wild Things are in Iowa
Subject Area:
Most of our school kids probably think that Iowa is a land of wide open spaces with lots of habitat to support native and migratory wildlife. But the fact is, crop fields provide poor habitat and once those fields are harvested in the fall, even that limited habitat disappears and vertebrate populations are pushed back to remaining green spaces. In Iowa, most species are dependent on places like pocket prairies, ditches, river green belts, timbers and yards in our towns and cities.

Join David McCullough, professor of biology, Wartburg College, for an enlightened look at why it is important to keep and foster these special places in Iowa. He’ll talk to your students about how declining habitat can impact natural populations…and why biodiversity is important to any healthy system.

We will work together to make a list of simple things that your students can do in their own backyard to create a micro-environment to help support these species. It may be as simple as planting a sunflower or two or a garden or few potted plants. Perhaps your school has a space that could be used? This would be a fun class project for fall and Professor McCullough will give you some great ideas on places to start.

This session will be important to educators teaching environmental units and also aligns to the Iowa Core Curriculum.

Suggested Prerequisites:

Session Related Web sites:

  • School to Careers ( - Teachers, students and parents explore the world of work via the STC Web site. Job descriptions, video clips and links to additional resources can be accessed through this Web site. The STC database features occupations in health, engineering, business, agriscience, human services and the arts. Career searches can be done by keyword, occupation, subject or Career Pathway.

Related Lesson Plans and Units:

PBS LearningMedia, a dynamic platform offering the best of public media content and produced specifically for PreK-16 teachers. With free access to over 14,000 high-quality resources tied to national standards, teachers can download, save and share exactly what they need for an inspired classroom experience. Sign up is free and easy! Learn more about PBS LearningMedia.

PBS Teachers - PBS Teachers offers free lesson plans, professional development and more for preK-12 educators.

Standards: (Hide Standards)

href=""> MCREL:

Self-Regulation Standards

Standard 2: Performs self-appraisal

Level IV [Grade:K-12]
1. Performs analysis of employability
2. Understands preferred working environments
3. Understands career goals
4. Determines explicit behaviors that are used and should be adopted to obtain wants and/or needs


Sessions are provided at no cost by Iowa Public Television in collaboration with the Iowa Communications Network to PK-12 students and the adults working with or on behalf of PK-12 students in Iowa. If you are not employed by a school district or an AEA please register at library sites only.

Sign up for the K-12 Connections eNewsletter to receive timely information regarding ICN sessions like this one.

Contact Person:
LaShell Staley

(800) 532-1290 or (515) 242-3144
Offering Dates & Times: Registration Deadlines:
October 14, 2013
 Monday, 9:00 AM - 9:50 AM
Audience: Grades 3-6
Friday, October 4, 2013
October 14, 2013
 Monday, 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM
Audience: Grades 3-6
Friday, October 4, 2013
Contact Us:
Copyright 2016, Iowa Public Television
This site supported by funds from
a USDE Star Schools grant.