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Daisyworld Interactive Activity
Students use a JAVA interface design to explore the Daisy World model. The model is intended to illustrate a mechanism by which biota might optimize their abiotic environment by means of negative feedback. The model does not attempt to describe all of the possible mechanisms and feedbacks which might influence the ways in which the plants and climate develop. Instead, it is an heuristic model, that seeks to describe the ways in which this mechanism might work. The original model was developed by Watson and Lovelock(1983). The JAVA interface comes with a link to a student activity page in PDF format. The activity is designed to take about 4 hours and is intended for introductory geoscience courses with an Earth Systems approach. This activity is appropriate for course with minimal mathematics or science prerequisites. Students should have some experience with either Excel, another graphing program, or making graphs by hand. Since the graphical analysis is introductory and fairly qualitative, the activity is appropriate as a beginning graphing exercise. This site also includes teaching notes and tips, necessary teaching materials, assessment ideas and additional resources. This activity is part of the Starting Point Collection:
Intended for grade levels:
  • High (9-12)
  • College (13-14)
  • College (15-16)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Computer activity
    • Guide for instructor
    • Module / Unit
  • Biology
  • Educational theory and practice
Technical requirements:
Excel spreadsheet
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Copyright and Other Restriction Information Unknown
DLESE Catalog ID: SERC-STARTINGPOINT-000-000-000-053
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Author: Robert M. Mackay
Clark College