Where do we fit in?
This week you are exploring the characteristics of our species and the role we play in our ecosystem. Two terms commonly used to describe an organism’s place in the environment is their “habitat” and their “niche.” A habitat is defined as an area inhabited by particular species. A niche is defined as the role (job), activities and resources used by an organism. For example, a polar bear’s habitat is the arctic whereas its niche is to swim, eat fish, walruses and seals, and to take care of polar bear cubs. Have you ever considered the characteristics of your niche or thought about what might happen if you were forced to switch to another niche? This Assignment will give you the opportunity to compare and contrast the niche that you live in with an assigned niche (described below).
Your essay should include:
- A description of your personal niche and of your assigned niche highlighting the similarities and differences.
- A description of your personal habitat and your assigned habitat highlighting the similarities and differences.
- Consider what characteristics would provide a survival advantage to you or to the individuals who currently occupy each niche and habitat.
- How have humans adapted to the two habitats and niches?
- What difficulties might you have living in the assigned niche and why?
- What types of cultural adaptations have evolved from living in your niche? Your assigned niche?
- Your discussion should consider any biological adaptations as well; things such as dealing with food spoilage, insect vector control, food and waterborne illnesses, etc.
|Letter of last name: Assigned Niche|
|A-G||An Ecologist Studying Penguin Mating in the Arctic|
|H-N||An Ecologist Studying Elephant Behavior in a Sub-Saharan Desert|
|O-T||A Botanist Studying Endangered Plants in a Tropical Rain Forest|
|U-Z||An Ecologist Studying Kangaroo Behavior in the Australian Outback|
Basic writing requirements:
Your essay should be in APA format and include a cover page, an introduction, the body of the essay addressing the different topics and questions described above, and a conclusion paragraph. Please remember to reference any statement of fact and to include a reference list at the end of the essay. The essay should be a minimum of 750 words in length not counting the cover page and reference list.