Whale Songs and Saucon Valley High School's Advanced Ecology class (Saucon Valley, Pennsylvania), headed by teacher Lance Leonhardt, is traveling January 15-23, 2000, to the island of Dominica, located in the Caribbean's Windward Island group. While in Dominica, the students will be making
detailed observations and gathering field data on Dominica's aquatic
habitats. In particular, comparisons will be made between the field data
obtained from Dominica's freshwater habitats and data previously
obtained from similar freshwater habitats the ecology students have
studied at home, as well as studying Dominica's open water habitat, home to over 14 species of cetaceans.
Share in the experience of Whale Song's In The Field team, as we involve other students both within the Lehigh Valley, PA, and around the world in the Dominica experience! The lesson plans the team will be following to conduct their research are available right here on Whale Song, and provide background information and visuals on the ecology of the habitats. While in Dominica, the team will be providing real-time video clips, field data, and student observations and insights. The team of students from Mr. Leonhardt's class that is remaining in the Lehigh Valley, will be communicating with the ecology students in Dominica by sending questions and making comparisons between the local habitats and those found in Dominica.
Dominica is a volcanic island (29 miles long, 16 miles wide) possessing two mile high peaks, lush tropical rain forests, mountain lakes including the
world‚s second largest sulfur lake, over 300 freshwater streams, coastal
wetland areas, and pristine coral reefs. A short distance from shore,
deep oceanic waters support a large variety of cetaceans, including the
magestic sperm whale. The island, therefore, is an ecologist's dream,
with a variety of interconnected terrestrial and aquatic habitats all
accessible within a day's travel.
Valley School District: Equipment for field data collection will be
provided by the district. Teacher Lance Leonhardt will lead field trip
and develop internet lessons.
Black Box: Expertise in the development of web-based and multimedia applications, including distance learning environments. Black Box is a graphic design agency located in Whitehall, PA.
Oasis Telecommunications: Internet service provider in the Eastern PA region, publishes Whale Songs and is providing the support required to transmit data from Dominica, as well as the discussion areas where students and scientists alike will be studying the data.
Wildlands Conservancy: The Director of the Rivers Program at Wildlands Conservancy is accompanying the team and providing expertise in freshwater aquatic systems and assisting with the field trips.
Hydrolab Corp.: Hydrolab has provided additional equipment beyond that provided by Wildlands Conservancy to aid the research team in gathering data from the streams and lakes in Dominica.
Lehigh University: Data on Lehigh Valley rivers and streams has been provided by Lehigh University.