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Understanding the Rewilding of Cape Cod

Cape Cod’s white shark and gray seal populations have been growing, and with them, so has the desire to understand these changes and impacts on both the ecosystem and our coastline useage.

With research funding from WHOI Sea Grant, the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy has developed a middle school level curriculum focused on exploring the current issues related to white shark - gray seal population growth on Cape Cod. The curriculum, called “Understanding the Rewilding of Cape Cod,” gives students science-based facts and figures about white sharks and our environment to enable them to develop a reasoned understanding of how the ecosystem functions and why conserving our natural world is important.

Marianne Walsh, AWSC’s education director, developed the curriculum with help from research scientists, teachers, and curriculum coordinators so it is packed full of information, lessons, videos, worksheets, activities and resources. The lessons enable students to review historical evidence and events that had an impact on the environment and coastal communities, and connect them to the present day. The students are introduced to scientific research on the subject and learn how technology helps scientists to answer their questions. Ultimately the students will conduct their research on changes in wildlife and the effect those changes have on the environment.

The curriculum is being shared with teachers in the Cape Cod area through in-school visits and workshops, including one with WHOI Sea Grant in Woods Hole.

Find the curriculum and resources for at-home learners on the AWSC website.