This exercise is designed to foster the practice of critical thinking—a habit of mind characterized by the comprehensive exploration of issues and evidence before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion—in the context of a complex and real conservation problem: invasive species. In particular, students will learn about the rusty crayfish, a freshwater species that has become invasive throughout parts of the United States, as well as the impacts of the rusty crayfish invasion and potential options for controlling them. The exercise has three parts: an introduction, a case study, and six exercise questions that promote critical consideration and strategic problem solving of a specific conservation issue.
Featured in: Lessons in Conservation: Student Learning Issue
Applying Critical Thinking to the Amphibian Decline Problem
Story of an Invasion: A Case Study of the Rusty Crayfish in the Great Lakes
Invasive Species and Mechanisms of Invasions
Great Lakes Under Stress: Invasive Species as Agents of Ecosystem Change