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Fireflies As a Catalyst For Science Education1

The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology
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  • Biology
  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Political Science


Abstract The study of fireflies makes an ideal subject for introducing students of all ages to the world of science, conservation biology, field studies and the importance of observation and understanding connections in the natural world. The synchronous fireflies, Photinus carolinus of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Elkmont Historic District can be used as a basis for classroom and field activities in subjects as diverse as conservation biology, economics, geography, ecology, governmental policy, zoology, history, taxonomy and animal behavior. Having been fascinated with the synchronous fireflies for over two decades, I will use the life cycle of the Elkmont Phontinus carolinus found in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as an example.

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