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The Monterey Pine through geologic time


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Understanding the evolutionary history of the Monterey Pine may help us conserve this species.

Perry, Frank

Grade level:

30 minutes

Teaching tips:
This article is fairly advanced but would make a good reading to stimulate further discussion of the nature of science.

Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.

  • The fossil record documents the biodiversity of the past.

  • A hallmark of science is exposing ideas to testing. (P3, P4, P6, P7)

  • Scientists test their ideas using multiple lines of evidence. (P6, NOS2)

  • Scientists can test ideas about events and processes long past, very distant, and not directly observable.

  • Scientific knowledge is open to question and revision as we come up with new ideas and discover new evidence. (P4, P6, NOS3)

  • Scientists use multiple research methods (experiments, observational research, comparative research, and modeling) to collect data. (P2, P3, P4, NOS1)

  • Science is a human endeavor. (NOS7)

  • Our knowledge of the evolution of living things is always being refined as we gather more evidence.

  • Our understanding of life through time is based upon multiple lines of evidence.

  • Scientists use fossils (including sequences of fossils showing gradual change over time) to learn about past life.

  • Scientists use the geographic distribution of fossils and living things to learn about the history of life.

  • Scientists may explore many different hypotheses to explain their observations. (P7)

Teacher background:

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