Can Wild Pigs Ravaging the U.S. Be Stopped?
(Clint Turnage of the U.S. Department of Agriculture)
By Amy Nordrum
1) How might scientists know how many pigs there are? Can estimation be used? What are its limits? What information is most relevant for a governor making a decision on this issue? A butcher? A hunter? Which method do you need most convincing on to determine if it would be an effective solution?
2) How might a pig farmer and a vegetarian have similar views on this issue? Why might teenage girl in Saudi Arabia have a different perspective on this issue than a teenager from Mexico City?
3) When has something like this happened in the US? Elsewhere? How can an understanding of exponential growth (math, economics) help us solve this issue? At what point could this change the expression "multiply like rabbits"?
4) Would we be as alarmed if the animals were dogs? Snakes? Lions? What if early colonists were of a different religion? What solutions can you propose?
5) How can this issue affect you personally? Someone you know? What might be the impact on the defense of the United States?
1) Students can research the effects of introducing non-native organisms through case-studies (i.e. goats on Galapagos islands).
2) Students can predict what might happen if various organisms are introduced to their hometown after watching a clip of The Simpsons travelling to Australia.
3) Students can create a plan for introducing earth animals and plants to future colonies on the Moon or Mars.