Every place on Earth has defining environmental conditions. Some of the most important environmental factors include sunshine, water quality, wind, temperature, air quality, substrate, and chemicals. Because the United States extends from the arctic to the tropics, there are amazingly different conditions throughout the country. The United States may be the most environmentally diverse country in the world.

Because of its environmental diversity, the United States also has incredibly diverse organisms. Something lives wherever you look--on the land, in the water, on mountain peaks, on desert sands, and everywhere else.

Considered together, a physical environment and the community of organisms living in that environment define an ecosystem. The physical conditions and organisms in one kind of ecosystem are different than the conditions and organisms in another kind of ecosystem. There are dozens of different ecosystems in the United States. We are only studying ten ecosystems for this project. The ecosystems and the issues associated with them are called ecoscenarios. The ecoscenarios focus on national parks or sanctuaries. Detailed information about each ecoscenario is included below.

You will be randomly assigned one of the 10 ecoscenarios. Click on the name to visit the PDF file containing an abundance of information on your ecoscenario:

1. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

2. Cimarron National Grassland

3. Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

4. El Yunque Caribbean National Forest

5. Everglades National Park

6. Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

7. Monongahela National Forest

8. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

9. Saguaro National Park

10. Yellowstone National Park