Oh Deer! Do We Have a Problem?


This is a project developed by Buck Institute of Education to support teachers in developing and implementing PBL (Project Based Learning). In this project studentswork in teams to research a possible deer problem from the position of a particular group in their community and/or state and make a recommendation to a Governor’s Council. Concepts and standards taught through this project include biogeochemical cycles, succession, energy transfers in ecosystems, population graphs, relationships in ecosystems. In Project Based Learning (PBL), students go through an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem, or challenge. Students gain a deeper understanding of the concepts and CLEu2019s of standard 2 (Interdependence). This project also builds workplace skills and lifelong habits of learning. This project is comprehensive and creates a need to know essential biology content.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CLE 3210.2.1
Investigate how the dynamic equilibrium of an ecological community is associated with interactions among its organisms.
CLE 3210.2.2
Analyze and interpret population data, graphs, or diagrams.
CLE 3210.2.3
Predict how global climate change, human activity, geologic events, and the introduction of non-native species impact an ecosystem.
CLE 3210.2.4
Describe the sequence of events associated with biological succession.
GLE 0801.1.3
Understand and use correctly a variety of sentence structures.
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
Learning objectives: 


  • Use safe laboratory procedures
  • conduct and/or design investigations that incorporate the skills and attitudes and/or values of scientific inquiry (e.g., established research protocol, accurate record keeping, replication of results and peer review, objectivity, openness, skepticism, fairness, or  creativity and logic)
  • given current science-technology-societal issues, contruct and defeend potentional solutions
  • relate societal, cultural and economic issues to key scientific innovations
  • evaluate environmental factors that affect succession, populations and communities
  • propose ecosystem models that incorporate interactions of biotic and abiotic environmental variables in biogeochemical cycles
  • interpret changes in energy as it flows through an ecosystem to illustrate conservation of energy in the energy pyramid, food web, and food chain
  • analyze interrelationships of organisms within an ecosystem- competition, predation, symbiosis, commensalism, mutualism, and parasitism
  • analyze graphs, GIS data and traditional maps reflecting changes in population to predict limiting factors in ecosystems as they determine carrying capacity
Essential and guiding questions: 

Driving Question:
How can humans and animals coexsist on planet Earth?

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 

Helpful Hints


  • Book Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1962, ISBN 0-618-25305-X, (recommended but not required)
  • Chart paper for KWL charts
  • Computers with internet access, word processing programs, media presentation programs, and spreadsheet and graphing capabilities
  • Printers (and ink) for the computers
  • Projector for the presentations and the Vocabulary Review Game
  • Mini cam for the computer if doing a Skype interview (recommended but not required if limiting the interview to audio)
  • Video cameras to include videos in presentations or to record interviews (not required)
  • Other audio recording equipment for recording interviews