Science Warriors: The Battle against Invasive Species


Collard, Sneed B. Science Warriors: The Battle against Invasive Species. Houghton, 2008. 48pp. Lexile: 1110.


It's a rare science book that brings to mind Indiana Jones, but this important book in the Scientists in the Field series does just that.  Just check out the photograph of red imported fire ants swarming.  Non-native plants and animals like these ants are wreaking havoc on parts of our country.  This fine photo-essay focuses on three main examples but mentions others as well.  It looks at the history of the problem, finding that typically the species was introduced with good intentions that backfired.  Collard examines the costs to agriculture and the efforts to solve the increasingly serious problem.  The book offers the series' usual helpful back matter including glossary, websites, index, and "local steps to take" in helping in the fight.

Writing Std. #7: Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.  Since this book is now eight years old, students could supplement it with more up-to-date information and find out what progress has been made on the three species. They could also each research a species that Collar didn't highlight--there are 6,200 invasive species in the U.S.  The websites in the book under "More Invasive Information" are a good starting point.  The U.S. Department of Agriculturel also has a great resource page for K-12 at http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/resources/educk12.shtml.