Academic standards list

Ecology — Science (2009-2018)


Academic standards define the expectations for knowledge and skills that students are to learn in a subject by a certain age or at the end of a school grade level. This page contains a list of standards for a specific content area, grade level, and/or course. The list of standards may be structured using categories and sub-categories.

Embedded Inquiry

Standard INQ — Embedded Inquiry
Science is a relentless quest for understanding how the natural world works. All of science is driven by the premise that the world is capable of being understood. Yet, scientists believe that currently accepted explanations of natural phenomena or events are never perfect or fully complete and are always amenable to revision in light of new scientific evidence. Each scientific discipline uses its distinctive tools and techniques to investigate phenomena associated with the physical, geological, or living worlds. All rely upon theories from which the development of hypotheses emerge, the collection of data, and the interpretation of evidence as the foundation for reaching logical conclusions and making reasoned predictions.Conceptual StrandUnderstandings about scientific inquiry and the ability to conduct inquiry are essential for living in the 21st century.Guiding QuestionWhat tools, skills, knowledge, and dispositions are needed to conduct scientific inquiry?
Course Level Expectation
Recognize that science is a progressive endeavor that reevaluates and extends what is already accepted.
Design and conduct scientific investigations to explore new phenomena, verify previous results, test how well a theory predicts, and compare opposing theories.
Use appropriate tools and technology to collect precise and accurate data.
Apply qualitative and quantitative measures to analyze data and draw conclusions that are free of bias.
Compare experimental evidence and conclusions with those drawn by others about the same testable question.
Communicate and defend scientific findings.

Embedded Technology/Engineering

Standard T/E — Embedded Technology/Engineering
Scientific inquiry is fueled by the desire to understand the natural world; technological design is driven by the need to meet human needs and solve human problems. Technology exerts a more direct effect on society than science because it is focused on solving human problems, helping humans to adapt to changes, and fulfilling goals and aspirations. The engineering design cycle describes the worklives of practicing engineers. The design cycle describes a series of activities that includes a background research, problem identification, feasibility analysis, selection of design criteria, prototype development, planning and design, production and product evaluation. Because there are as many variations of this model, practicing engineers do not adhere to a rigid step-by-step interpretation of this design cycle.Conceptual StrandSociety benefits when engineers apply scientific discoveries to design materials and processes that develop into enabling technologies.Guiding QuestionHow do science concepts, engineering skills, and applications of technology improve the quality of life?
Course Level Expectation
Explore the impact of technology on social, political, and economic systems.
Differentiate among elements of the engineering design cycle: design constraints, model building, testing, evaluating, modifying, and retesting.
Explain the relationship between the properties of a material and the use of the material in the application of a technology.
Describe the dynamic interplay among science, technology, and engineering within living, earth-space, and physical systems.


Standard 1 — Individuals
Conceptual StrandThe individual organism is the basic unit of ecology.Guiding QuestionWhat determines the survival of individuals in a population?
Course Level Expectation
Analyze strategies for classifying organisms.
Identify organisms based on how they obtain energy.
Relate specific animal behaviors and plant tropisms to survival.
Investigate various approaches to maintain biodiversity.


Standard 2 — Populations
Conceptual StrandA population is composed of a single species within a specified area.Guiding QuestionWhat are some characteristics of populations?
Course Level Expectation
Cite examples of populations limited by natural factors, humans or both.
Explain population growth patterns and rates.
Relate species interactions such as competition, predation and symbiosis to coevolution.
Summarize how natural selection influences a population over time.


Standard 3 — Communities
Conceptual StrandCommunities are groups of interacting populations.Guiding QuestionHow do populations interact to produce stable communities?
Course Level Expectation
Explain ecological niches within various habitats.
Apply the first and second laws of thermodynamics to explain the flow of energy through a food chain or web.
Analyze how biomass is related to trophic levels.


Standard 4 — Ecosystems
Conceptual StrandAn ecosystem is a community that interacts with the physical environment.Guiding QuestionHow do ecosystems change over time?
Course Level Expectation
Describe the flow of energy flow through an ecosystem.
Describe how matter cycles through various biogeochemical cycles.
Evaluate the process of succession.
Summarize the human impact on ecosystems.
Describe how biodiversity relates to stability of an ecosystem.


Standard 5 — Biomes
Conceptual StrandA biome is a region of the earth with characteristic types of natural ecological communities.Guiding QuestionHow are earths biomes distributed?
Course Level Expectation
Explain how climate influences terrestrial biomes.
Compare and contrast the major terrestrial biomes: deserts, temperate grasslands, temperate forests, tropical grasslands, tropical forests, taiga and tundra.
Examine the major marine and freshwater biomes.
Infer how organisms in different biomes occupy similar niches.
Identify how humans impact biomes.

Humans and Sustainability

Standard 6 — Humans and Sustainability
Conceptual StrandHuman activities have reduced the earths biodiversity.Guiding QuestionWhat can individuals do to sustain biodiversity locally and globally?
Course Level Expectation
Investigate the role of public lands in sustaining biodiversity.
Examine state, national, and international efforts to sustain native species and ecosystems.
Evaluate the impact of personal actions on the environment.
Identify and explain choices you can make to lessen your impact on the environment.
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