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The Mission

The Rescue Team

Let's Go!

Biodiversity

Scientist Rescue

Produced by Escape with STEM and Cybermentor

The Mission

The Rescue Team

Holly - The Adventurer

Brennan - The Tracker

Hannah - The Brains

Let's Go!

Before you embark on the journey to save Dr. Cyber, you find some notes hidden in a folder. You realize that they are from Dr. Cyber! The notes say:

Cybermentors - you need to find me. I've left clues for you in this field station. You need to visit each bioregion of Alberta.Solve the puzzles and they'll give you some numbers that will help lead you to me. I have to go now - they're coming.

With the notes, is a map and some locations. The six locations are listed below. Currently, we are located at the Canadian Shield. As Dr. Cyber said, visit the 5 other bioregions by pressing the map points to find the clues! Also, once you have visited all 5, click the map point for the Canadian Shield to locate Dr. Cyber!

The pine beetles are destroying the Canadian forests! You need to identify the mountain pine beetle from the other beetles so we can stop the infestation. Quickly now, click the red file icon to view the dichotomous keys and save our forests!

You picked the wrong beetle, unfortunately. Try again.

Click the arrow icon on the bottom of the screen to pick another location.

Congratulations! You've identified the mountain pine beetle and taken the first step to saving the forests!

Here's a piece of paper that was found.

5_ N, ___W

Fishing and hunting can be helpful to the ecosystem by reducing the population of invasive species. This allows native species an opportunity to grow and reproduce without the threat of predation or competition by introduced species or larger individuals of their own species that have already reached sexual maturity.

Which of these fish can be legally hunted from this river? Click the field notes to access the fish guide and drag the ruler to measure the fish. Press the forward arrow when you are ready to answer questions.

NOTE: Multiply the value on the ruler by 10 to get the length in cm.

Question 1: How many fish were allowed to be hunted?

6

7

10

9

8

Question 2: Which fish species were not allowed to be hunted at all?

That's right! Great job!

Bull Trout and Northern Pike

Bull Trout and Rainbow Trout

Burbot and Bull Trout

Northern Pike and Rainbow Trout

Take another look at the fish guide and the fish in the river. Make sure you've identified the fish correctly and followed the rules on the last page!Click the back arrow to try again.

That wasn't the right answer.

You've restored the ecosystem to a balanced state and also caught some nice fish along the way!Now, press the forward arrow to continue on to a new task!

Awesome! You solved it!Here's another note.

_1 N, ___W

A keystone species is a species that has a disproportionately large effect on its natural environment relative to its population. Without its keystone species, the ecosystem would be dramatically different or cease to exist altogether. Bison are a keystone species of the grasslands. They were nearly driven to extinction by overhunting, reducing their numbers from 30 million to less 1,000 in a single lifetime. Bison are slowly being reintroduced to the grasslands where they once roamed in abundance in the hopes of restoring the ecosystem.

The bison reintroduction program is now in full swing, and you have been tasked to assess the biodiversity index of the area. In order to do that, you're going to have to answer some questions. Remember what this image looks like! When you're ready, click the arrow to proceed to questions, but don't forget to press the file icon to get the field notes!

What is the species richness in the grassland habitat?

2

3

10

5

11

That's right! Good job!

2

3

10

5

11

What is the species abundance of bison in the grassland habitat?

What is the species intactness of bison in the grassland habitat (in %)?

10

15

25

20

30

You've got it! One last question to go.

That's not the correct answer. Take a look at the field notes from the technician, and try again.

Great job! You successfully identified the biodiversity index and have successfully assessed the reintroduction program of the bison to the grasslands habitat!

Click the arrow to proceed to a new location.

__ N, 1__W

There was a note that was left.

You contact the field technican, and they provide you with these pictures.

A healthy and balanced ecosystem requires species at each trophic level (producers, consumers, decomposers). Producers capture energy from the sun to convert into food. Consumers get their energy from producers or other consumers. Decomposers break down fecal and dead matter to return the energy to the environment. If a species is introduced that does not have enough prey or predators, it may die out or grow unchecked and throw the ecosystem off-balance.

Which of these species should be included in the boreal habitat? Only 5 of these are not. When you've identified those 5 species, rearrange the first letter of their names to get a 5 letter word. Then, click the next button and select that word on the next page. You can also drag the species to different points on the screen to separate them. Good luck!

Black Bear - Most common bear in North America. Excellent climbers. Eats moose and vegetation.

Beaver - Large semiaquatic rodents. Can transform less desirable habitats by creating dams. Eats vegetation. Is eaten by grey wolves.

Chickadee - Small curious songbirds. Acrobatic fliers. Can reduce their body temperature to conserve energy in the winter. Eats insects and vegetation. Is eaten by owls.

Coniferous Trees - Coniferous trees such as spruce, fir, and pine, are adapted to cold temperatures. They provide food and shelter for birds, mammals, and other wildlife.

Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog - Lives in freshwater habitats. Its color can vary depending on temperature. Eats insects. Is eaten by snakes.

Grey Wolf - Large predatory canine. Eats deer, moose, beavers, red foxes, and snowshoe hares.

Insects - Six legged invertebrates that are essential in breaking down waste and dead matter. Eat vegetation. Is eaten by bats, birds, and owls.

Brown Bat - Most common species of bats in Canada. Can travel long distances to hibernate for the winter. Eats insects.

Orca - Highly social. Sophisticated hunting techniques and vocalizations that are passed across generations. Eats fish, dolphins, seals, and whales.

Polar Bear - Excellent swimmers. Keen sense of smell. Dense layer of fur and fatty tissue to keep warm. Eats seal, walrus, narwhal, beluga whale, and fish.

Red Squirrel - Store food to hide it from competitors. Don’t hibernate during the winter. Eats vegetation. Is eaten by owls and foxes.

Rock Vole - Lives in shallow burrows under rocks. Eats insects and vegetation. Is eaten by snakes, coyotes, and hawks.

Shrub - Shrubs provide berries and fruit and are an important source of food for many species of birds and mammals.

Snowshoe Hare - Widespread throughout Canada. Fur color changes during the winter and summer months. Eats vegetation. Is eaten by grey wolves and red foxes.

Stag - Male deer, fourth largest species of deer. Stags have antlers, which distinguishes them from their female counterparts. Eats vegetation (leaves, branches, forbs, berries, lichens, and fungi). Is eaten by coyotes, wolves, and cougars.

Western Whiptail Lizard - Prefers hot dry climates. Hibernates in the winter. Can drop its tail to avoid predators. Eats insects and scorpions. Is eaten by leopard lizards.

POWER

BREWS

DEPOT

POLES

TREES

MICRO

COILS

MEMOS

EDGES

DIMES

MIMED

LIMPS

MAGIC

ROPES

Nice try, but that's incorrect. Remember, you can mouse over each species to determine their names, and think carefully about which 5 species should NOT be included in this habitat. Click the back arrow to look at the species and try again.

Congratulations! You've saved the boreal forests and reintroduced the right species to create a balanced ecosystem! Great job!Here's a note that was in the dirt.

Now, click on the arrow icon to continue your journey!

__ N, _1_W

Certain species of plants, often called weeds, can grow and reproduce quickly. When these plants are introduced into a new habitat, they can quickly outcompete and push out native vegetation. These plants must be controlled and exterminated to maintain the biodiversity of the native ecosystem.

Here are the plants that are currently in the Parklands of Alberta. Your job is to select only the invasive plants for removal, so that the native plants can prosper and the biodiversity of the ecosystem is restored. When you think you have identified the invasive plants, press the forward button. You can also access the field notes of invasive plantshere.

Which of these plants is the Spotted Knapweed?

Which of these plants is the Garlic Mustard?

That's correct!

Which of these plants is the Purple Loosestrife?

That's right!

Which of these plants is the Puncturevine?

Keep going!

Which of these plants is the Yellow Starthistle?

Last one!

Hmmm... you may have selected the wrong invasive plant. Remember to take a look at the field guide to help you identify the correct plants. You got this! Click the back button to try again.

__ N, __4W

It looks like you successfully identified all the invasive plants! Awesome work! Now, the native plants in the Parklands will be able to grow and prosper, improving the biodiversity of the area! Click the forward arrow to go on to a new area.

Here's another note.

Where is Dr. Cyber located?

It looks like you picked a wrong location. Remember to click exactly where you think Dr. Cyber is located, and make sure you understand what the numbers mean.Click the back arrow to try again.

You've found Dr. Cyber!

After identifying Dr. Cyber's location in Calgary, you quickly race to her home. Breaking in the door, you find that she is sitting on a chair, seemingly awaiting your arrival."I've been waiting for you. Great job on finding me and sorry for the wild goose chase. The reason for visiting the bioregions was to show you that as humans, we are the ones that are destroying the environment. We need to be more aware of what is going on and take steps to become sustainable and protect our future.You nod, and are relieved that your job is done. You bid farewell to Dr. Cyber, and head home after an eventful day.

This program was made possible by generous funding from the NSERC PromoScience Supplement for Science Literacy Week — thank you!

Thank you so much for playing Biodiversity Scientist Rescue! Please check out the two non-profit organizations which brought you this escape room by clicking on the logos on the bottom of the screen.

Cybermentor

Cybermentor inspires girls in science and engineering. Started in 2001, this province-wide program matches girls in grades 6-12 with female role models in science, technology, engineering and math, using an innovative free online mentoring platform.

www.cybermentor.ca

Escape with STEM

We are a non-profit organization that develops STEM-based escape room puzzles and experiences to inspire students to explore STEM related education and career opportunities.Try out our online escape rooms on our website!

www.escapewithstem.com