Sunday, May 28, 2023

Schools : Let's talk about Biodiversity : #BuildBackBiodiversity ! Resources & Activities

“On the International Day for Biological Diversity, we reflect on our relationship with humanity’s life-support system, from the air we breathe and the food we eat, to the energy that fuels us and the medicines that heal us, our lives are wholly dependent on healthy ecosystems,”

UN Secretary-General António Guterres

While there is a growing recognition that biological diversity is a global asset of tremendous value to future generations, the number of species is being significantly reduced by certain human activities from illegal logging to poaching wildlife.

Convention on Biological Diversity

Biological diversity is often understood in terms of the wide variety of plants, animals, and microorganisms, but it also includes genetic differences within each species.

In a delicate balance, biodiversity reflects differences between varieties of crops and breeds of livestock as well as the variety of such ecosystems as lakes, forests, deserts, and agricultural landscapes, that host myriad interactions among their human, plant, and animal guests.

But, the loss of biodiversity threatens all, including health. It has been proven that biodiversity loss could expand zoonoses – diseases transmitted from animals to humans. Keeping biodiversity intact offers excellent tools to fight against pandemics like those caused by coronaviruses.

  • Theme 2023:

"Moving from talk to action: build back biodiversity."

From towering forests to the depths of the sea, Countless species reside, each vital to keep. But human actions have taken a toll, Once-thriving habitats, degrading and frail. #BuildBackBiodiversity, our duty, our mission, Revive nature, a critical ambition. The time is now, to heed the urgent call, Reverse biodiversity loss, for humanity’s survival.

  • Did you know?

🌳 Current negative trends in biodiversity and ecosystems will undermine progress towards 80 per cent of the assessed targets of eight Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

🌳 Three quarters of the land-based environment and about 66 per cent of the marine environment have been significantly altered by human actions.

🌳 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction.

🌳 Poaching and illegal trade contribute directly to the extinction of many species.

🌳 Illegal logging is estimated to account for between 10 and 30 per cent of the global timber trade.

🌳 Fish provide 20 per cent of animal protein to about 3 billion people.

🌳 More than 80 per cent of the human diet is provided by plants.

🌳 Nearly 80 per cent of people living in rural areas in developing countries rely on traditional plant‐based medicines for basic healthcare.

"Our actions are devastating every corner of the planet: 1 million species are at risk of extinction, the result of habitat degradation, skyrocketing pollution, and the worsening climate crisis.”

UN Secretary-General António Guterres


From mitigating the impact of climate change to underpinning economies, the natural world is crucial to life as we know it 🌾 We cannot afford to lose it 🌍

via The University British Columbia/ UBC Botanical Gardens


  • What your students and you can do?

This day mobilize teachers, students, researchers on Biodiversity issues and their interdependence with global sustainable development issues.

However, Biodiversity is not a day. It's a real activity for days along the school year.

"Given the importance of public education and awareness about this issue, the UN decided to celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity annually."

Education can help to understand better the value of biodiversity and the causes of biodiversity loss. 

  • Curricula : Sciences ; Geography; Languages ; Civics.

  • Levels : All levels. Different activities may be adapted to the level you are teaching.

Teachers will be inspired to prepare some pedagogical activities. Educators and students are invited to be active and help to conserve the biodiversity. 

  • Teachers begin by suggesting the students to discover the exceptional beauty and richness of biodiversity.
  • Educators introduce the concept of biodiversity : a general term denoting the variability of plants, animals and micro-organisms existing on Earth, their variability within a single species and also the variability of the ecosystems to which they belong. 

credits: unknown
via Google Images

Broadly speaking, biodiversity covers genetic diversity, the diversity of species and the diversity of habitats and ecosystems.
  • In order to carry out the activities, the class goes outside on fresh air at their natural surroundings, with teachers. 
  • Students learn how to observe, to “read” their environment better, to examine it in detail and to see things they may never have noticed before, and to distinguish different environments where biodiversity exists in various forms.
  • Students can get some pics using mobile devices (tablets; smartphones). 
  • Include the social networks into the curricula (Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook), to share experiences with other schools.
  • Explore Google EarthLet your students find and explore the theme.

This approach encourages students to use their senses to discover the environment and biodiversity.

  • Resources: Goal of the Month

This months Goal of the Month editorial focuses on Goal 15, Life on Land which is about protecting life on land. It is to conserve and restore terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation and stop biodiversity loss. Read more here

Biodiversity is collapsing as one million species teeter on the brink of extinction. We must end these relentless and senseless wars on nature. 

UN Secretary-General António Guterres,  UN Secretary-General 
in his message on Mother Earth Day, 22 April 2023 


Copyright © 2023-Souto'sBlog,®

sources: UN /UNEP

Schools : Let's talk about Biodiversity ! #BuildBackBiodiversity ! Resources & Activities bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Schools : Women in Science, Rachel Louise Carson, the marine biologist & 1st ecologist !


Rachel Louise Carson

“Man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself.” 

Rachel Carson

Let me present you Rachel Carson, an American marine biologist who is celebrated on this day by Google. Famed marine biologist and conservationist Rachel Louise Carson on what would be her 107th birthday.

Google Doodle Rachel Louise Carson's 107th Birthday

The doodle was originally more aspirational in concept, much like the figure it celebrates. Carson could be seen perched on a seacliff, staring toward the sea with a light animation of her scarf flowing in the wind.

Google Doodle Rachel Louise Carson's 107th Birthday

Today, the 27 May, Google dedicates the Doodle to Rachel Louise Carson, an American marine biologist, writer and ecologist. Her book, Silent Spring was noted and credited with advancing the global movement on environment.

Silent Spring
Rachel Carson 

Google celebrates Carson's life, achievements and contributions to marine biology and ecology. The doodle shows Rachel Louise Carson in the field with a pair of binoculars around her neck and a notebook in her hand, surrounded by just the type of thriving ecosystem she warned the world - accurately, as it turned out - it risked losing. Animals include a seal, a turtle and crab, while birds depicted include a pelican, a tern and a heron.

The Google Doodle marks Rachel Louise Carson's 107th birthday. Her contributions to environmental studies were greatly appreciated by scholars and scientists. 

She was a biologist for the federal government when she first noted the effects of the unregulated use of pesticides and herbicides, especially DDT. Magazines, afraid of losing advertising, refused to publish her articles.

But her warning sparked a revolution in environmental policy and a new ecological consciousness.

Rachel Carson's most significant work was this campaign against the use of DDT (Dichloro Diphenyl Trichloroethane), a common insecticide, in the United States of America. 

"She had questioned the logic of releasing large amounts of chemicals into the environment without a sufficient understanding of their effects on ecology and human health." This led to the ban on agricultural use of DDT in America in 1972.

Rachel Carson homestead

Carson was born in Springdale, Pennsylvania. She studied English, before changing her major to Biology.

She wrote her first essay, 'The World of Waters' for a brochure at the US fisheries bureau, where she had started her career as an aquatic biologist. 

The essay however, wasn't published as her supervisor had deemed it 'too good' for that purpose. The Atlantic Monthly, an American magazine, published a revised version of the essay in July 1937.


Her book, The Sea Around UsNational Book Award for Non Fiction (1952) and a Burroughs Medal in nature writing. It remained on the New York Times Best Seller List for 86 weeks and it has been translated into 28 languages.

Rachel Carson pioneered a new storytelling aesthetic by making science a literary subject.

The Sea Around Us
rare edition 1952
Rachel Carson

"Nowhere is this chromatic cosmos richer than in the marine world, and no one has had more profound an impact on impressing its science and splendor upon the popular imagination than marine biologist and author Rachel Carson."

The Sea Around Us
Rachel Carson

In 1953 the book was made into a documentary film (1953). But Carson was unhappy about the final version of the script by writer Irwin Allen. The documentary went on to win the Oscar for the 'Best Documentary' in 1953.

The Sea Around Us
Irwin Allen, 1953

Oscar-winning documentary based on Rachel L. Carson's pioneering study of ocean life chronicled in her award-winning and best-selling 1951 book of the same name.

Rachel Louise Carson died on April 1964, in her home in Silver Spring, Maryland. 

Carson was awarded the 'Presidential Medal of Freedom', the highest civilian honour in the United States of America. 

Her home in Pennsylvania was renamed as Rachel Carson Homestead and became a National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

Rachel Carson at her summer home in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, USA, Sept 4th, 1962
© CBS Photo Archive/Getty

Education :
Google continued its run of doodles celebrating eminent female scientists, this time with an image to mark the 107th anniversary of the birthday of Rachel Carson. After Maria Gaeta AgnesiDorothy HodgkinMary Anning. 

Rachel Carson would be inspirational on the role of the girls and young women in many different Science knowledge areas.
She would be an important woman to all, girls and boys. Carson defended the type of thriving ecosystem as little islands.

The Sea Around Us
Special edition for young readers ebook
Rachel Carson

Invite your students to listen a little sample of the Audible audio edition here. Such a poetic prose! Beautiful! 
Published in 1951, The Sea Around Us is one of the most remarkably successful books ever written about the natural world. Rachel Carson's rare ability to combine scientific insight with moving, poetic prose catapulted her book to first place on The New York Times best seller list, where it enjoyed wide attention for 31 consecutive weeks.

Rachel Carson in woods near her Maryland home in 1962, 
the year in which Silent Spring was published. 
Photograph: Alfred Eisenstaedt/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

Her experience as Roger’s mother, her fondness for young people and her awareness of the need to preserve children’s love of nature resulted in Rachel Carson’s last work, The Sense of Wonder, published posthumously.

The Sense pf Wonder
A celebration of nature for parents (teachers) and children
Rachel Carson ( published posthumously)

The students are invited to make a research about Carson and discuss her importance to the new environment generation as they are a part. 
It would be such an excitement to your students to discuss their own ideal about Ecology.

Curricula : Science ; History; Languages ; Arts.

“It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know the sense of wonder and humility. ” 

Rachel CarsonThe Sense of Wonder



Copyright © 2023-Souto'sBlog,®

Schools : Rachel Louise Carson, the marine biologist & 1st ecologist !
 bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.