Harvard Forest Ecologist, David Orwig has begun his 15th year of training teachers to bring their students outside their schools to help contribute to tracking a giant tree killer.
That is a tiny insect that can bring down giant Hemlock trees.
Dr. Orwig shows Mass. Audubon Educator Kristen Steinmetz and Innovation Academy Charter School teacher Katharine Hinkle how to identify the white covered eggs sacs that the invasive
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid produces. The covering is a wool-like substance that give the insect its name. Teachers used hand lenses to view the insect in the field.
Dr. Orwig shows teachers the field sheets he has been using to track the populations of Woolly Adelgid on trees right outside Shaler Hall at Harvard Forest. Teachers learned how to mark study branches with flagging tape and how to collect and report the data for this citizen science project.
Teachers were able to view the Adelgid under a microscope to see it much more clearly. Dr. Orwig reviewed the life cycle of this unusual organism.
J.R. Briggs Elementary teacher, right, shared her 13 years of experience leading this field study with teachers who will begin this study for the first time this season. Tara DiGiovanni from the Greenfield Middle School is one of the many teachers who have been supported by Kate's mentoring through the years.
Teachers were able to see the impact the woolly Adelgid has had on a variety of Eastern Hemlock Trees at Harvard Forest, both in a landscaped area near Shaler Hall and in a Hemlock dominated forest stand.
|Looking at annual growth scars to see how much growth occurred this past year.|
Teachers practiced measuring new growth so they can go back to their schools and train
students how to collect and report data according to the scientific protocol for the Woolly Bully and the Hemlock Tree Schoolyard Ecology project. Their data will later be shared online using the HF Schoolyard Online Database.
Project Connections with Next Generation Science (NGSS)
LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
Develop a model to
- Elementary School (3-5)
Reproduction is essential to the continued existence of every kind of organism. Plants and animals have unique and diverse life cycles.
- Middle School (6-8)
Organisms reproduce, either sexually or asexually, and transfer their genetic information to their offspring.
Animals engage in characteristic behaviors that increase the odds of reproduction.
Plants reproduce in a variety of ways, sometimes depending on animal behavior and specialized features for reproduction.
Genetic factors as well as local conditions affect the growth of the adult plant.