Student Data

Eagle Research – Authentic Data

Help the science standards come alive with real Iowa data!

three bald eagles

All wildlife admits to a rehabilitator are considered a wild mortality because without human intervention (often several humans) the animal would die in the field. So if that is the case, why do we rescue and rehabilitate in hopes of release? The big picture is that, sometimes, we can find problems and work to prevent these from happening in the future through collecting data on admits. SOAR is able to release 45-60% of total admits, this varies by year.

SOAR collects data on all bald eagles admitted to us. Eagle data includes: date of admission, circumstance or cause of admission, gender, adult/juvenile, county found, lead levels from blood sample or liver biopsy, and final outcome (if euthanized, died, transferred, or released). The data we are sharing starts January 2015 and is on-going. SOAR maintains all necessary US Fish & Wildlife Service and Iowa Department of Natural Resources permits for the work done.

SOAR is working on adding a middle school storyline and an updated high school storyline!

The revisions are based on conversations with middle and high school science teachers. We’re working to offer more “skinny data” for students at the high school level to dive into and analyze and to offer “skinny data” more appropriate for middle school students. The storylines will offer 5E lessons and links directly to information you need for each piece of the storyline. This SOAR Student Data work is partially supported by a grant from the Avangrind Foundation.

We’re offering a draft 5E “Wildlife CSI” using our bald eagle files for middle school teachers to share with students during this “educate from home” time – jump to that page!

What can high school and middle school students learn from the SOAR eagle information?

  • Students can view x-rays and photos of eagles admitted and discuss the many ways raptors can become injured or sick (trauma, infection, or toxin).
  • Look at photos of eagles in the field before rescue and hypothesize what may be wrong based on visual evidence.
  • Look at x-rays of other eagles for fractures and signs of trauma (reading x-rays is a science, but we’ve tried to share images that are either without issue or the issue is easy to see).
  • Look at an individual eagle‚Äôs folder of photos and use a SOAR admit checklist to identify concerns and ask questions. Then use the symptoms / toxins sheet, and videos and ask more questions. Then look at Eagle Excel file.
  • Use the SOAR Eagle Excel file:
    • Graph eagle admits by month (seasonality)
    • Graph lead levels by month
    • Graph final disposition of eagles
    • Any of the above by year and total
    • Discuss the human dimension of rehabilitation
    • Look at mortality (what is causing eagles to be admitted to rehabilitation and what is cause of death) for commonality, themes, number.

Here’s just one possible storyline for this data, prepared for the October 2017 Iowa Science Teachers Section workshop. The links in the document that lead to the Google Drive Folder of SOAR Student Data will not work until you request access.

Interested? Please complete this Google Form to request access!