Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications

Product ID: PS-Future
Supplementary Print
High School

Life on the Edge – Habitat Fragmentation (Teacher)

Author: Barbara Cozzens and Holly Gaff

About This Module:

Sustainability is forward-looking, and natural resources are finite. Planning for sustainability therefore involves making decisions about how we use limited resources in light of the continuing future needs for those resources. Planning for sustainability seeks to identify practices that can continue indefinitely without critically damaging natural resources, people, or economies, especially those that are at risk. While it is tempting (and simpler) to base decisions purely on their immediate economic impacts, doing so can easily overlook the long-term environmental (and social) consequences that can undermine sustainability. In planning for sustainability, it is important to consider that human economic and social systems exist within and are dependent on the environment. Decision makers need to identify how their choices impact both human and environmental systems, as well as whether such choices could persist indefinitely into the future.

About the PS-Future project and its modules

The PS-Future project is a collaboration led by Rutgers University involving the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS), the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, and Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University; the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications (COMAP); Colorado State University; the Groton School; Hobart and William Smith Colleges; and a number of authors and educators from around the country.

The modules are intended to provide 4-6 days of classroom activities on a variety of topics that apply computational and mathematical methods in sustainability. Each module links to Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in Mathematics and targets content for a particular mathematics course. Each module also addresses disciplinary core concepts required by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), especially targeting concepts taught in Environmental Science and Biology courses. The modules are also particularly suited to address Practice Standards for both mathematics and science.

Each module contains examples of jobs related to the module topic, together with a discussion of the skills and training required, as well as information on the salary and future demand for such jobs. In many cases, specific job titles are mentioned within the modules.

© 2020, COMAP, Inc.
PS-Future Mathematical and Computational Methods for Planning a Sustainable Future
32 pages

Mathematics Topics:

  • Pre-Algebra ,
  • Geometry ,
  • Mapping, Data Analysis, Graphical Analysis

Application Areas:

  • Environment & Sustainability ,
  • Habitat Fragmentation


Basic Geometry

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Related Resources

Life on the Edge – Habitat Fragmentation (Student)

About This Module: Sustainability is forward-looking, and natural resources are finite. Planning for sustainability ...


COMAP develops curriculum resources, professional development programs, and contest opportunities that are multidisciplinary, academically rigorous, and fun for educators and students. COMAP's educational philosophy is centered around mathematical modeling: using mathematical tools to explore real-world problems.

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