Notes: These assignments require each student to write a paragraph (introductory sentence, body, concluding sentence) and can be completed in 10–15 minutes in class. They provide a good way to check student comprehension and to improve student writing skills. See Chapter 1 for a simple grading system.
1) Roles of People in Tree Disease Epidemics
Both Dutch elm disease and chestnut blight spread quickly across the United States, nearly wiping out American elm and American chestnut trees in their natural ranges. Millions of people were affected by the destruction caused by these introduced pathogens. Choose either disease and discuss (1) how people were involved in the introduction of the pathogen, (2) why people were unable to stop the rapid spread of the disease, and (3) how people’s lives changed as a result of the disease.
2) Chestnut Blight Management
Chestnut blight ravaged the entire population of American chestnut trees in the eastern United States. Briefly describe how the initial attempts to manage the chestnut blight epidemic in the early 1900s were similar to the procedures used to manage the citrus canker epidemic in Florida. Also explain why these procedures were ineffective for chestnut blight.