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									                                    Oklahoma’s Ecoregions

Oklahoma’s biological diversity can be explained in part by the state’s geographic
location. It is here that the forests of the moist east meet with the dry plains of the
west. Therefore the species found in Oklahoma are a mix of eastern and western
plants and animals, some are found as far away as the Rocky Mountains. Vegetation
Is often used as one of the defining features of a landscape. Vegetation type is
Important in determining what animals might be living in an area.

In this activity you will investigate how vegetation type relates to environmental
factors such as rainfall, rivers and lakes. You will also see how each of these factors
influence how different ecoregions are determined.

Cypress bottomland found in         Pinion - Juniper woodland at Black Mesa in
southeast Oklahoma                  westernmost Oklahoma

  Oklahoma Ecoregions                                                          p. 1
                                 Oklahoma’s Ecoregions


1)    Open ArcView by double clicking its Icon

2)    When ArcView opens you will choose to open an existing project

3)    Now navigate to the project that you previously saved. It should be located
      the M: Drive.

4)    Open your saved project.

5)    Before we start now we need to add a new theme to our existing project.
      First click the add theme button .      Then navigate to the following
      location Q:\esri\ecoregions_project_data\game_type.shp , to add the
      game_type.shp file. Now click the checkbox next to all themes to show
      them on the screen

Now we need to modify the appearance of some of our themes.

6)    First move your themes in the order indicated
      on the right by clicking and dragging them into

7)    Next double click the symbol below county.shp.
      This will open the legend editor window.

8)    Now double click the symbol. This will open the
      fill palette.

Oklahoma Ecoregions                                                       p. 2
                                   Oklahoma’s Ecoregions

   9)     In the fill palette select the black box
          (fill color) under the paint bucket tab.

   10)    Next click the paint brush tab. Select
          Foreground from the pulldown menu
          next to Color:. For a color select the
          white box with an X (no color). Lastly
          click apply.

   Now we can see through our counties layer
   Lets do the same thing for the game_type
   layer. Follow steps 7-10 for the game_type.shp

   After clearing the color from the counties and
   game_type layers the symbol boxes for each
   layer should have no color filled in them. See
   the figure on the right to see the no color

   Now our data is ready to do some work!

Oklahoma Ecoregions                                  p. 3
                                   Oklahoma’s Ecoregions

   Lets start by finding the Southwestern Tablelands ecoregion. First make sure
   The ecoregins theme is selected in the left-hand column.

   11)    Click the Open Table button.
          This will open the attributes table.

   12)    Now we want to sort the table based on the Level 3 name. To do this
          select the Level3_nam tab at the top right of the table, then click the
          sort ascending button.       Now our table is sorted alphabetically
          by level 3 ecoregion name. Keep the table open.

   13)    Scroll down the table until you find the Southwestern Tablelands. Now
          click the first entry of Southwestern Tablelands. It should now be yellow.

   14)    Hold shift and click each of the remaining entries for Southwestern
          Tablelands. There should be 8 entries, and they should all now be yellow.

   15)    After you have selected all 8, and they are yellow, minimize the attributes
          table by clicking the - in the upper right of the screen.

   You should now be able to see your map of Oklahoma with the Southwestern
   Tablelands highlighted in yellow.

   Save your work!

Oklahoma Ecoregions                                                          p. 4
                                 Oklahoma’s Ecoregions

One of the most interesting geologic structures in the state is Black Mesa. Black
Mesa is topped by a layer of ancient lava, which gives it its black appearance.
The Mesa is also the highest point in the state at 4,972 feet above sea level.
Lets look at some of the vegetative features of the Black Mesa Region.

  16)   Black Mesa is located in Cimarron County. To find Cimarron county,
        first select the County.shp file to make it active.

  17)   Now click the Open Theme Table button.

  18)   Click the Name tab at the top of the page, then click the sort by ascending
        button.          Then select Cimarron county. It should now be yellow.
        Now minimize the Attributes table by clicking - at the top right.

  Cimarron county should now be yellow. We now need to zoom in to that part of
  the map.

  19)   To zoom choose the zoom in tool from the tool bar.                Now
        click and hold to the zoom tool on the outside upper left hand of Cimarron
        County. You are drawing a box around the County with the zoom tool.
        Then release the mouse button.

Oklahoma Ecoregions                                                        p. 5
                                 Oklahoma’s Ecoregions

   Now that we have zoomed in to Cimarron County we can unselect it from the
   attribute table.

   20)   To do this select the Clear Selected Feature button.

   You should now be zoomed in to Cimarron County, and be able to see the
   features of each theme in more detail.

   Question 1: What level 3 ecoregion does the yellow area represent?

   Question 2: What level 4 ecoregion does the yellow area represent?

   If you don’t remember the answers to these questions you can find out by
   doing the following.

   21)   Select the ecoregions.shp theme from the left hand of your screen. Now
         click the identify tool   and click the yellow region. An identify results
         window will open. Find the answers in the table. After you find the
         answer close the window.

   Now lets find out what vegetation types are found around Black Mesa.

   22)   Select the Game_type.shp them from the left hand menu from your
         ArcView window.

Oklahoma Ecoregions                                                         p. 6
                                 Oklahoma’s Ecoregions

  23)  Now use the identify tool     to find at least four of the five vegetation
       types. Write the Gametype in the following blanks

  You will have to click around the ecoregion to find all five Gametypes.

  Oklahoma has a strong rainfall gradient from east to west. Lets look at the
  rainfall around Black Mesa.

  Question: Which do you think gets more rainfall, east or west? (circle one)

  24)  Click the them titled Rainfall.shp to make it active. Find the two contour
       lines present in Cimarron county that represent rainfall. They will be the
       same color of the line in the symbol. Use the identify tool and click each
       of the lines. The resulting table has an entry called contour, this is the
       amount of rainfall in inches. Record the two numbers below.
  Top contour:            _____inches
  Bottom contour:         _____inches

  Question: Would you expect to find the same types of vegetation in other parts
  of Oklahoma as we found for Black Mesa? Why or Why not?

Oklahoma Ecoregions                                                         p. 7
                                 Oklahoma’s Ecoregions

   There are several streams in Cimarron County, list the names of at least four
   of them in the blanks below.

   Are there any lakes in Cimarron county? Yes No (Circle one)

   What are their names?

Oklahoma Ecoregions                                                       p. 8
                      Oklahoma’s Ecoregions

Oklahoma Ecoregions                     p. 7
                      Oklahoma’s Ecoregions

Oklahoma Ecoregions                     p. 7

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