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Frogs: The Thin Green Line

Agriculture's Effects on Frogs

Secondary, Middle

Description

This video explores how agricultural pesticides like Atrazine are impacting frog populations in California.  Noted amphibian researcher Tyrone Hayes discusses the fascinating yet troublesome ability of these substances to act as endocrine disruptors.  The information about the presence of these toxins in freshwater systems also highlights the crucial link between environmental and human health.

A study sheet for use during the watching of the video can be found here.

General Assessment

Recommendation of how and where to use it

This video supports science units that explore human impacts on freshwater ecosystems especially from an agricultural perspective.  The information about Atrazine can be used to illustrate concepts that link environmental factors to reproductive health.  The connection between animal  physiology and pollution could also be examined with a frog dissection exercise to identify structural features like permeable skin.

The film's scientific content could lead to a similar study in which students identify a threatened local habitat and collect and analyze environmental data from the site.  This research could support student directed action projects like raising community awareness about non chemical methods of pest control.

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Themes Addressed

Ecosystems (2)

  • Biodiversity
  • Interdependence

Food & Agriculture (2)

  • Conventional Farming
  • Pesticides

Human Health & Environment (1)

  • Environmental Contaminants & Health Hazards

Water (1)

  • Water Quality