Human-CACO Connection: GIS Week 4

DCIs: LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in EcosystemsESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems

SEPs: Asking Questions (for Science); Developing and Using Models; Planning and Carrying Out Investigations; Analyzing and Interpreting Data; Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking; Constructing Explanations (for science);  Engaging in Argument from Evidence; Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

CCCs: Systems and System Models; Energy and Matter: Flows, Cycles, and Conservation; Structure and Function

CA EPs & Cs: 

Time: 1 Day, 45 minutes

Prep: Review Lesson Plan, download and share GPS data*

***Final GIS monitoring activity, but the data sheets can be edited to continue data collection beyond 4 weeks***

Anchoring Phenomena

Essential Question

What role does the California condor play in the California ecosystem, and how do changes in the ecosystem impact condors over time?


Warm up: Watch FWS Biologist Joseph Brandt enter a condor nest in the wild. Have students write what they wonder on post it notes for the question board.

Guiding Question: Where could condors interact with humans? How might they interact with humans? - think about data from your food web models

1. Using a GIS – Google Earth (Week 4 Data*)​

  • Have students use their GIS Datasheets.

  • Have them collect data for their assigned condor for Week 4.

  • Teacher will enter the student’s data into the Teacher Database. Or have a student representative from each group enter the data into the Teacher. Database.

  • After the activity, have students write 1-2 additional questions that they have (based on what they observed from the GIS activity) on Post-Its to add to the question board.


2. Reflection – Based on what you observed today, where might condors have interacted with humans this week?

  • Have students write or draw their reflection. This should be a personal exercise and sharing should not be expected. ***Students can make a map using Google Earth with pins or shape files identifying areas they think humans and condors could interact.***

    • Where and when could they interact?​

    • Why do you think they interact?

    • What do you think they are doing?

3. Extend (optional)

  • Watch the Condor Creation Story

  • Have students write a story about how an animal of their choice got to be the way it is today.

    • Their story should have at least 3 components: 1) How it (animal and place) was before, 2) What happened to it? 3) How that made the features we see today (animal). Stories should include illustrations!

*contact FWS Park Ranger to request access to GPS data:

Call us:

SB Zoo - 805-962-5339

USFWS - 805-644-5185

Find us: 

500 Ninos Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93103

2493 Portola Road Suite A, Ventura, CA 93003