Science Report Writing--Introduction

Science report writing follows a specific, well-established format.   Many of you participating in the Beetle Project will have the opportunity to present your findings in the format of a scientific journal article (you can use journal articles as models for your presentation).  Listed below are the sections that are typically present in a science report and a discussion of the type(s) of information that would be presented within each section.

 

Introduction

Your introduction is where you present the background information related to (1) the larger context of species adaptations and climate change, and (2) Japanese beetles and their patterns of colonization in New York. 

In the introduction section of your paper, begin with a discussion of the larger context of your study and end with a focused presentation of the way(s) your study fits within that larger context.  Introduce the larger context, climate change and ecological impacts of nonnative species, and the focus of your individual project, climate change and beetles at your location. 

For a list of websites to get you started, visit the Sources and References tab.

 

Points which may be covered in an introduction include:

 

(1) The larger context regarding the relationship between species and their ecological communities and the climate to which they are adapted. 

  • How is climate classified? In particular, focus your discussion on air temperature / moisture, soil temperature, and soil moisture (the parameters you will be sampling). 
  • How have species adapted to climate conditions?
  • How does climate change and what are the current trends in climate change?    
  • What are the possible impacts climate change can have on individual species, and as a result of those impacts on individuals/populations, what are the possible impacts it can have on entire ecosystem dynamics?

 

(2) The larger context regarding nonnative species and their impacts on native species populations and ecosystem dynamics

  • What have been the methods by which nonnative species have been introduced into ecosystems outside of their historical ranges?
  • What have been patterns of colonization observed?  What factors have facilitated the movement and establishment of nonnative species populations?
  • How have nonnative species impacted native species populations and ecosystem dynamics?
  • How have nonnative species migrated in response to changes in environmental conditions? 

 

(3)  The specific focus of your project (the focus of the final paragraphs of your introduction).

  • What are the local climate conditions and how is climate changing / expected to change?
  • How did Japanese beetles arrive at your location and what have been the historic patterns of colonization? 
  • Why have of Japanese beetles been able to establish populations at your location?  Consider the beetle’s life cycle—adaptations both to atmosphere and soil climate conditions.  What impacts have they had on the local environment?
  • Based on this species’ adaptations, how might local climate change affect their populations and the ecosystems they currently inhabit?

 

(4)A final statement which articulates the point of your project—to contribute to the understanding of the current patterns of colonization and timing of the beetle’s life stages across New York State.