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Many ecologists work to understand how various parts of a given ecological system work or function with other systems in their vicinity, but relatively few attempt to bring together all of this work with major urban areas. One such impressive project is the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, which aims to understand metropolitan Baltimore as an ecological system; and in doing so, bring together researchers from the biological, physical and social sciences to work on this formidable task that is truly interdisciplinary. At the site, visitors can learn about the staff of the project and read about its various thematic areas of inquiry, including biodiversity, education, soil, stream and watershed studies, and vegetation. A good place to start before diving into the numerous research projects would be the research area, which explains the basic goals of the project, the theories that the research team is drawing on, and the central questions of its work. The Baltimore Ecosystem Study has also been approved for use in classrooms by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and educators will find materials that they can draw on to teach various concepts and ideas here as well.
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