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        Oregon | Activity 7.6: Critter Crime Fighters

        Students watch a video about Critter Crime Fighters. They learn the lab and investigatory tasks of these crime fighters, and create a resume showing the crime fighter skills necessary to work as a Critter Crime Fighter.

        Lesson Summary

        Students watch a video about Critter Crime Fighters. They learn the lab and investigatory tasks of these crime fighters, and create a resume showing the crime fighter skills necessary to work as a Critter Crime Fighter.

        This lesson is part of "Oregon | Unit 7: Oregon’s Natural Resources and Economy." In this unit, students will examine Oregon’s natural resources and their significance to the state.

        Time Allotment

        15 minutes

        Learning Objectives


        4.11: Identify conflicts involving use of land, natural resources, economy, and competition for scarce resources, different political views, boundary disputes, and cultural differences within Oregon and between different geographical areas.



        1. Explain to the students that they will be watching a video about Critter Crime fighting, which is, indeed, a real job. The job entails determining what is harming such wildlife as fauna (all animals) and flora (plants). Just like other crime-fighting jobs, there are investigations, medical examinations, and stopping unnatural predators (such as wildlife traffickers). The US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Forensics Lab featured in the video is located in Ashland, Oregon.

        1. Distribute the Critter Crime Fighter Resume handout and instruct students to take notes as they watch the video.

        1. Show students the video: Critter Crime Lab [5:26]. As needed, pause and provide the following vocabulary definitions:

          1. Forensic science—the application of science to aid criminal investigations

          2. CITES—Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species: an international agreement that governs trafficking of rare plants and animals

          3. Pathology—the study of the nature of disease

          4. Ballistics—the study of the motion of projectiles

          5. Genomics—the study of genes and their function

          6. Morphology—the study of identifying the species of animal remains

          7. Ionize—the process of converting an atom, molecule, or substance into an ion or ions, usually by removing electrons

        1. Ask students: “Why is it important to stop the illegal trafficking of trees?” [Stopping illegal trafficking of trees helps protect the species that live in the forests. 4:43]

        1. Explain that although the trees featured in the video were from Brazil, forestry and logging is a main industry in Oregon. Oregon is one of the fastest tree growing areas. Douglas fir, Ponderosa pine, and other high-demand tree species grow well in the state’s soil and climate. The first sawmill in the state was built in 1827 and, by 1937, Oregon surpassed Washington as the leading timber producer in the country. In 1991, Oregon Legislature created the Oregon Forest Resources Institute to educate the public about environmentally sound forest management. Today, nearly every acre of Oregon’s forestland has a management plan through federal and state agencies or private landowners.
          This active forest management protects Oregon’s trees from threats like loss (i.e., cutting down the trees) due to housing development and overharvesting. In fact, unlike the Brazilian trees, which too often are poached, Oregon trees are closely managed by state officials who coordinate all the logging that occurs. Additionally, loggers and state officials work closely together to use the best technology available to minimize the impact of logging on the surrounding soil, streams, and other parts of the forest so that it remains healthy overall and avoids Oregonian trees becoming endangered.

        1. Remind students that the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s mission is to protect and conserve fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats. Have students think of what qualities and qualifications are important to work for USFWS. Instruct students to complete a resume of someone qualified to work at a Critter Crime Lab on the worksheet.

        Answer Key:

        Skills on the qualifications list could include:

        • Investigation skills

        • Collecting evidence

        • Lab testing

        • Dissecting animals

        • Knowledge of animal and plant species

        • Medical examination skills

        • Chemical knowledge

        • Desire to protect wildlife

        • Tracking skills


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