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High altitude adaptations: The work of Emilia Huerta-Sánchez


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This research profile tells the story of Emilia Huerta-Sánchez and how she uses mathematical modeling to answer evolutionary questions. Students examine data visualizations and learn about the process of science while focusing on adaptations, allele frequencies, and natural selection.



Life Science, Nature and Process of Science

30 minutes

Teaching tips:
Understanding Science research profiles can help students view science as a dynamic process and a human endeavor one that they can participate in if they choose. They can be used as reading assignments, class extensions, or as a group activity to integrate a discussion of the scientific approach to a research question with the learning of particular disciplinary content.

Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.

  • Science is both a body of knowledge and the process for building that knowledge.

  • Science aims to build increasingly broad and coherent explanations of the natural world.

  • Science focuses on natural phenomena and processes.

  • Science works only with testable ideas.

  • Scientists strive to test their ideas with evidence from the natural world; a hallmark of science is exposing ideas to testing.

  • Scientific knowledge is open to question and revision as new ideas surface and new evidence is discovered.

  • Science is ongoing; answering one scientific question frequently leads to additional questions to be investigated.

  • The real process of science is complex, iterative, and can take many different paths.

  • The process of science involves observation, exploration, testing, communication, and application.

  • Scientists test their ideas (hypotheses and theories) by figuring out what expectations are generated by an idea and making observations to find out whether those expectations are borne out.

  • Scientists use multiple research methods (experiments, observational research, comparative research, and modeling) to collect data.

  • Scientists look for patterns in their observations and data.

  • Raw data must be analyzed and interpreted before we can tell whether a scientific idea is likely to be accurate or inaccurate.

  • Analysis of data usually involves putting data into a more easily accessible format (visualization, tabulation, or quantification of qualitative data).

  • Researchers share their findings with the scientific community through scientific publications.

  • Scientists usually work collaboratively.

  • The scientific community is global and diverse.

  • Anyone can participate in science, but the pursuit of science as a career often requires extensive formal training.

  • Scientists are creative.

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