Watershed Scavenger Hunt Answer Key

Keep In mind that there are no right or wrong answers to this scavenger hunt. There are many possible answers. Here are a few:

1. Geologic activity- erosion, evidence of glacial activity, (landscape shot of rolling hills) volcanic rocks, sandstone, all indicate geologic activity

2. Differentiation in cell development- As cells divide, they can become bark, or leaf in trees, berries or leaves in bushes, hair or nail in human, etc.

3. Succession of ecosystems- The borders between ecosystems often show evidence of succession. At the borders of a wetland, you might see trees and bushes begin to grow. The wetland may be drying up, creating conditions which favor bushes and trees. The edges of prairies may have trees moving in. As you look for evidence of succession, pay attention to the edges of eosystems.

4. Solid and non-solid di-hydrous oxide- Di-hydrous oxide is water, folks. H2O. You can illustrate that as ice, (solid,) liquid, or gaseous, (clouds or the steam when you breathe.)

5. An illustration of the principle of "lift." Birds do it, bees do it, moths do it, mosquitoes do it. Let's do it, let's fly.

6. A non-native or invader species. There are a lot of these! A few examples would be buckthorn, dandelions, most landscaping, lawn grass, etc.

7. An edible plant (Note: you don't have to photograph the edible part.) The watershed is a grocery store. Oak trees would qualify for their acorns, roses for their hips, maples for their sap, raspberries and blueberries for their…berries, cattails for their tender shoots, ferns for their tender heads, purple coneflowers for their roots, etc.

8. A fractal- A fractal is the pattern left after a chaotic process. Weather is chaotic; a cloud is the fractal. The movement of water is chaotic; a shoreline is the fractal. Cell division is chaotic; a tree, or a person, is the fractal.

9. The presence of mammals (not humans!) Look for tracks- animal hair, scat, beaver-chewed trees, etc. You could document dogs, cats, beavers, squirrels, mice, etc.

10. Parasite or decomposer- Head for the nearest downed tree, and pull up a chunk of dead wood. You're looking for mushrooms, bugs, other fungi, and creepy stuff like that.

11. A mushroom- Go right back to that log, and keep looking. In the winter, this is a tough one!

12. A fruit- Berries are your best bet, and there are many. Extra points if you can identify them correctly.

13. A crystal- Ice crystals are the easiest to capture in the winter, quartz has a crystal structure, mica is a crystal, and gems are crystals. If you have a diamond ring and a good story, you could get away with it.

14. Combustion- Look for fire-scarred wood. That's the best bet. The sun is in a continuous state of combustion, but DON'T LOOK RIGHT AT IT!

15. Illustrate and identify one of Newton's Laws- Law #1- Anything just sitting there illustrates the law of inertia. Law #2- Acceleration equal force divided by mass. Throw something and take a picture of it. Law #3- Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. You cannot touch without being touched. If you pull on the branch of a tree, the tree pulls back just as hard. If you throw a rock against the ground, the ground bounces the rock back with equal force. (Ok, some of that force is dissipated by through the ground, but if you take that into account, no energy remains unaccounted for. Scientists can be very picky!)

16. A delta or alluvial fan- watch even a trickle of water, and eventually, it will leave off being a trickle, and spread out over the ground. That is a delta, or alluvial fan. You'll find it happens with trickles, streams, creeks, and rivers.

17. A seed- Berries, nuts, rose hips, maple whirligigs, grasses, etc. Most plants will have seeds.

18. The four elements- earth, air, fire and water. You should have encountered these as you answered other questions.

Back to the Scavenger Hunt

Center for Global Environmental Education
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