Fisheries technical officer
In this video, Matt describes how he became a fisheries technical officer for the Environment Agency. His job is to monitor river habitats and fish populations, including improving the habitat and restocking fish after any pollution incidents.
The video could be used to introduce units of work including habitats, ecosystems, marine pollution, populations, ecology, human impact on the environment, eutrophication, levels of organisation, principle of material cycling, pyramids of biomass, transfer through tropic levels, food webs and biodiversity.
There are a number of misconceptions demonstrated by students within this topic area, and one that is often seen is that there is a build-up of biomass along a food chain. Presumably this is because students incorrectly assume that populations higher on a food web increase in numbers because they consume those lower in the web, or that total biomass for a trophic level is greatest at the top of the food web because the organisms are larger. Trophic levels seem to cause confusion, so it is worth spending some time on this using a range of different pyramids. Students also struggle to distinguish between abiotic and biotic factors that affect ecosystems.
For more resources and ideas linked to this video have a look at
11-14 Where have the fish gone? A card sort activity looking at how an invasive species (water hyacinth) has caused eutrophication and destroyed fish stocks
14-16 What to conserve? Students compare different habitats and decide which should be protected by designating it a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
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