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Lesson summary for:
Evo in the News: Climate change causes loss of genetic diversity

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Overview:
This news brief, from April 2012, describes how climate change is affecting a population of chipmunks in Yosemite National Park. The chipmunks' loss of genetic variation may affect their ability to survive and their future evolutionary potential.

Author/Source:
UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:
13-16

Time:
20 minutes

Teaching tips:
Use this resource to relate evolutionary concepts to the topic of climate change (or get more suggestions for incorporating evolution throughout your biology syllabus). This article includes a set of discussion and extension questions for use in class, as well as advanced discussion questions for undergraduates. It also includes hints about related lessons that might be used in conjunction with this one. Get more tips for using Evo in the News articles in your classroom.

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

  • Evolution is still continuing today.

  • Evolution results from natural selection acting upon genetic variation within a population.

  • Natural selection and genetic drift act on the variation that exists in a population.

  • As with other scientific disciplines, evolutionary biology has applications that factor into everyday life, for example in agriculture, biodiversity and conservation biology, and medicine and health.

Teacher background:

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