Friday, May 8, 2015

Student Samples- Growing Season Graphs and Conclusions

Holyoke Catholic Ninth Grade Student Graphs and Data Analysis from the Buds, Leaves and Global Warming study from 2012-2014

This series of graphs, result statements, and conclusions were created by HCHS H.S. freshman led by Schoolyard Teacher, Lise Letellier.   

I am posting these samples with comments from Harvard Forest Schoolyard Ecology project ecologist, Dr. John O'Keefe to serve as models for other schools implementing schoolyard projects. These students worked hard practicing graphing real data collected at their field sites, and trying to analyze the data and form conclusions about it. 

Note From Harvard Forest Project Ecologist, Dr. John O'Keefe:

Hannah, check data for tree HO-7 in 2012-It looks very late.

Notes for Hannah from project ecologist, Dr. John O'Keefe:  

  • Title of the graph should be Growing Season by "Species"-same word for singular and plural. 
  •  Growing season by tree generally is quite variable with little consistent pattern
  • Most species had a long growing season in 2013 esp. Exotic Cherries (EC) and red maples (RM).  
  • 2012 and 2014 were generally shorter with 2012 shortest in hornbeam (HO) and red maple (RM).
  • Hard to say much with only 3 years ( and only 2 for some species and individuals) of data.
  • Differences might be obvious if the scale ranges were reduced , i.e. Julian Date budburst 80-160 rather than 0-160. Even more relevant for leaf fall, i.e. 250-350 rather than 0-400.  

 Note to Claire From Project Ecologist, Dr. John O'Keefe:

Budbreak 2012 was the earliest year.  Check data for tree HO-7.  
2013 was intermediate and 2014 was the latest. 

Notes to Claire from Project Ecologist, Dr. John O'Keefe:

  • Leaf Fall : Tree EC-10 has the earliest leaf fall, but there was little pattern across years. Generally exotic cherries (EC) had early leaf fall and hornbeams (HO) had late leaf fall. 
  • Growing Season: Generally 2012 was longest and 2014 shortest but not for all individuals.
  • Analysis by Species:  Hard to say much here with only 3 of the study's species having all years worth of data.  

Thanks so much to Claire, Hannah, and Lise for sharing this important work!!!

We so much appreciate the depth of the work you are doing in Holyoke, and very much hope that it serves as a model for other schools.  

We invite other schools to send us comments about these models or samples of student work, lesson plans, resources or photos from their schools by emailing to

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