Education Technology

JASON: Nutria and the Disappearing Marsh

Published on 06/09/2008

Activity Overview

Disappearing Wetlands: Nutria are rodents associated with the loss of marshes in Louisiana's wetlands through a process known as eat out. This activity examines changes in the nutria population, vegetation density, and marsh area over time.

Before the Activity

See the attached teacher document (pdf file) for notes and guidelines for this activity.

Print and copy the attached student activity document and research article (pdf files) for your class.

Download and transfer the attached calculator data file to each student's calculator.

  • TI-73 Explorer - nutria_73.73g
  • TI-83 Plus family - nutria_83.8xg
  • TI-84 Plus family - nutria_83.8xg


  • NOTE: Instructions for downloading and transferring the data files can be found in the teacher document.

    During the Activity

    Students will:

  • Examine changes in the nutria population, vegetation density, and marsh area over time in the wetlands of Louisiana
  • Use data based on the Nutria-Marsh Loss Model created by Dr. Jacoby Carter, a scientist at the USGS National Wetlands Research Center
  • Import data and use the TI-73 Explorer to graph and analyze the effects of nutria on marsh loss


  • Directions
  • Distribute the activity document and research article to your class.
  • Read and discuss the research article.
  • Follow the activity procedures outlined in the student document.
  • After the Activity

  • Students complete the data analysis section of the activity.
  • Discuss the results of the data analysis with your students.