Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Ecocolumn Investigations

Figure from experiment 19 from Investigating Environmental Science through Inquiry


An ecosystem can be defined as a community of organisms along with their physical environment. An Ecocolumn is a model of an ecosystem on a small scale, and generally includes a terrestrial habitat, with a compost unit, and an aquatic habitat.

Many ecosystem concepts can be investigated using an Ecocolumn and probeware. Conductivity Probes, CO2 Gas Sensors, Light Probes, Relative Humidity Sensors, Soil Moisture Sensors, Temperature Probes, and other sensors can be used to collect meaningful data.


In the Preliminary Activity, you will gain experience using a Soil Moisture Sensor and learn soil moisture measuring technique as you determine the volumetric soil water content of a soil sample.

After completing the Preliminary Activity, you will first use reference sources to find out more about ecosystem concepts before you choose and investigate a researchable question dealing with ecosystems. Some topics to consider in your reference search are:

Sensors and Equipment

This investigation features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for Investigating Environmental Science through Inquiry »

Investigation 19 from Investigating Environmental Science through Inquiry Lab Book

<em>Investigating Environmental Science through Inquiry</em> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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