Habitat Cache with GPS (FBCEC)

Summary:

Participants will use GPS units to find eight caches on Fred Berry Conservation Education Center grounds. Each cache will have items that represent one of the eight habitats. Each group will present what they found. (Instruction in using GPS receivers is required.)

Grade Level:

7 - 12

Recommended Setting:

Outdoors with special conditions: sufficient adult supervision and weather permitting.

Outdoor Activity:

No

Location:

Fred Berry Conservation Education Center, Yellville, AR

Contact:

Education Program Coordinator, 870-449-3484

 

Duration:

2 - 2.5 hours

Suggested Number of Participants:

Up to 24

Special Conditions:

Sufficient adult supervision.  GPS instruction is prerequisite.  Weather permitting.

Objectives:

  • Use a GPS receiver and a map to locate a hidden cache.
  • Analyze the area where the cache is found.
  • Compare observations of the eight habitats.

Key Terms*:

Cache

GPS

*See glossary for definations

Materials:

GPS receivers

Eight caches with items that represent its surrounding habitat

Digital cameras (optional)

Maps of FBCEC

Background:

Eight habitats have been identified at FBCEC grounds on Crooked Creek. They include a gravel bar, riverfront forest, limestone bluff, forest, limestone glades, woodland, non-native grassland (pasture) and pond.

 

Procedure:

  1. Confirm that participants can use a GPS unit and read a map of the area. Tell them they will be using the GPS receiver and coordinates to find a cache.
  2. Explain that the caches will be in the eight habitats. Each group will be assigned one cache, and each cache will have items that represent its habitat.
  3. Upon finding the cache, participants will note the habitat’s characteristics and add two or three items to the cache that represent the habitat. Participants will return and share what they found, explaining the role of the cache items they investigated. They can use research materials found in the classroom if they do not know how the items relate to the habitat.
  4. Each group will use the map to show where their cache was. If the maps are laminated, they can circle the location with a dry erase marker.

Note: It will be useful to participants to have access to field guides for the area of study.

Modifications:

Photograph the items in the cache and the surrounding area with a digital camera. The cache can then be returned to its hiding place. Participants can share their photos with the larger group.

Review:

Describe the eight Ozark habitats at FBCEC.

Participant Worksheets:

Crooked Creek Map

Glossary:

Cache – a small container hidden outdoors for others to find

 

GPS – Global Positioning System; a hand-held receiver that uses satellite signals for navigation