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Bio-cultural studies  

How does the place one lives create the way one lives?
Last Updated: Jun 4, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Current Issues and Cultural Beliefs Print Page



Research the ecological factors that contributed to the building of two cultures (one from Group 1, one from Group 2). After gaining an understanding of the cultures’ ecological roots, research those cultures’ contemporary relationships with those same ecological factors. Then, present your findings through a narrative. Your narrator, a scientist, should “take the reader” to these places with the essential question in mind.


Student will:

  • make connections between cultures and their physical location on Earth,
  • investigate how contemporary cultures interact with their ecosystem(s),
  • evaluate how cultures have approached the diverse problems associated with population growth and fixed abiotic factors.

Group 1

  • abiotic factors
  • affecting ecosystems  
  • India
  • Israel
  • Iraq
  • Syria
  • Lebanon
  • Iran
  • China                                                           

Group 2

  • community interactions &
  • population dynamics
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • England
  • France
  • Japan
  • Libya
  • Nigeria
  • Egypt

Part I: Due Friday, 6/5  

Directions: Find information about each cultural and ecological component in each of your countries. Record at least two facts per component. (Culture Grams, Mr. V, Global Issues in Context will help you)

2 cultural facts each

  • government
  • economy       
  • agriculture (food)      
  • transportation
  • communication
  • family/religion/occupation                
  • housing

2 ecological facts each

  • climate
  • abiotic factors
  • population density
  • sustainability
  • symbiosis
  • food web
  • energy pyramide

Part II: Due Wednesday, 6/10

Use Mr. Vallee’s research guide available on the library website.

Find three articles that help you answer the “questions to consider” (see list below). Use 3 quotes from each article to answer at least 3 of these questions. These answers should demonstrate your growing understanding of each culture’s relationship to its ecology.

Questions to consider:

  • Does this culture “feed” itself? (My car “eats” oil)
  • How has the culture’s ecology affected its imports and/or exports?
  • Why are extinctions more common for species indigenous to islands?
  • The world is getting smaller. How does this homogenize culture?
  • How is ecology linked with evolution?
  • Why do different places on the planet have different plants and animals? Why can some species be found in numerous places?
  • Cultures evolve. How is that parallel to Darwinian evolution? (Evolution as something cultures do (as peoples do))
  • In cultural evolution, what forces lead to change?
  • How is biodiversity related to human populations?
  • How do the natural flora and fauna of a place contribute to the ways humans live?

    Citation and Plagiarism Resources on the Internet



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    • CultureGrams
      Learn about different cultures from around the world including customs, languages, diet, and much more.
    • Science Online
      Presents a broad range of scientific disciplines through extensive essays, videos, diagrams, definitions, biographies, and experiments.
    • World Geography and Culture
      This database facilitates the study of countries, U.S. states, places, peoples, and geography concepts and skills through a global approach.
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      Authoritative world news coverage from 1940 through today: provides information, context, and perspective.

    Group 1 - India, Israel, Iraq Syria, Lebanon, Iran, China

    Group 2 - Greece, Italy, England, France, Japan, Libya, Nigeria, Egypt


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