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NatureWatch program Plantwatch Canada: an example to integrate research activities in school.

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Presentation on theme: "NatureWatch program Plantwatch Canada: an example to integrate research activities in school."— Presentation transcript:

1 NatureWatch program Plantwatch Canada: an example to integrate research activities in school

2 What is monitoring? Monitoring is repeated measurements of a variable in time to determine its change over time Monitoring is repeated measurements of a variable in time to determine its change over time In environmental monitoring, we measure variables that can describe the « health » of the ecosystem In environmental monitoring, we measure variables that can describe the « health » of the ecosystem

3 How can we get involved? Very simple ways… observations and discoveries Very simple ways… observations and discoveries NatureWatch programs NatureWatch programs Measurements of phenological events Measurements of phenological events Phenology : the study of the seasonal timing of life cycle events in plants and animals. Historical phenology records can provide evidence of the effects of climate changes over time. Phenology : the study of the seasonal timing of life cycle events in plants and animals. Historical phenology records can provide evidence of the effects of climate changes over time.

4 Main goals of NatureWatch Promoting understanding of natural resources and ecosystems for better sustainable use Promoting understanding of natural resources and ecosystems for better sustainable use Enhancing public awareness of the Canadian environment Enhancing public awareness of the Canadian environment Facilitating public participation and local community involvement Facilitating public participation and local community involvement

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6 Why phenology? Most events in the spring and late fall can be sensitive to changes in climatic conditions. Most events in the spring and late fall can be sensitive to changes in climatic conditions. The assumption in the northern hemisphere is that with climate change, temperatures in the spring will be warm faster than in previous decades. The assumption in the northern hemisphere is that with climate change, temperatures in the spring will be warm faster than in previous decades. Consequences, biological and environmental events will be happening faster too. Consequences, biological and environmental events will be happening faster too.

7 Some species

8 How monitoring programs like PlantWatch help attain environmental attitudes and actions Provide hands-on experience of collecting data about the environment Provide hands-on experience of collecting data about the environment Educate students to understand and appreciate the environment, how it is related to our health Educate students to understand and appreciate the environment, how it is related to our health Provide extensive environmental data that can be used to further investigate and discuss our roles and impacts in our environment Provide extensive environmental data that can be used to further investigate and discuss our roles and impacts in our environment

9 Curriculum connections Sciences: ecology, plants, classification, measurements, data, research skills, climate change Sciences: ecology, plants, classification, measurements, data, research skills, climate change Geography: environment, mapping, data, issues, climate Geography: environment, mapping, data, issues, climate Maths: computer applications, statistics Maths: computer applications, statistics Technology: meaurements, mapping Technology: meaurements, mapping History: past history, record finding, data through time History: past history, record finding, data through time Language: writing up reports, communication, text information, reading of historical information Language: writing up reports, communication, text information, reading of historical information

10 Activities Will vary in function of the: Will vary in function of the: Grade (K-12) Grade (K-12) School location (urban versus rural) School location (urban versus rural) Interests Interests Topics (e.g. history, mathematics, geography, etc.) Topics (e.g. history, mathematics, geography, etc.)

11 Some examples of activities In ecology: flowers parts In ecology: flowers parts Note: bunchberry flowers are inside the bracts, i.e. the white bract are not the petals!

12 Flower buds and temperature Science: To show how temperature can influence the opening of the flowers! Science: To show how temperature can influence the opening of the flowers! Give to each student a flower in bud (rose or carnation). Give to each student a flower in bud (rose or carnation). Divide the class into 4 groups for different temperature conditions: Divide the class into 4 groups for different temperature conditions: Cold water in the room Cold water in the room Cold water in a cold room Cold water in a cold room Room temperature water Room temperature water Warm water (not too hot!) Warm water (not too hot!) Each student monitors the opening of their flower. Each student monitors the opening of their flower.

13 Planting bulbs for Easter! Science: Again: to examine the influence of temperature on plant growth Science: Again: to examine the influence of temperature on plant growth Each student receives a bulb to plant in a small pot of soil and decides where the pot will be. Some are in cool places, some along the windows, some in the shade, etc. Each student receives a bulb to plant in a small pot of soil and decides where the pot will be. Some are in cool places, some along the windows, some in the shade, etc. The students monitor which plants are growing faster. The students monitor which plants are growing faster. Data can be entered on computer and analysed. Data can be entered on computer and analysed.

14 Bunchberry: geography and distribution Tiny insects can trigger an explosive opening of mature bunchberry flowers, and are showered with pollen as they fly away.

15 Signs of Spring Survey Questionnaire Social studies: To find out how local people identify the arrival of spring and to discover when local people expect seasonal events will occur. 1. Please complete this sentence as many times as you wish.I know that winter is over when Please complete this sentence as many times as you wish.I know that spring is here when What are the signs of spring here in April? 4. What are the signs of spring here in May? 5. What things do you do in the spring, and how do you know when to do them?

16 Mathematics Growing Degree Summation (GDS) Skills: Addition, division, graphing, use of Centigrade temperature scale Needs: daily newspaper with temperature records, if available, graph paper, and calculator (optional) Then, follow the recipe to calculate the GDS

17 Example High or maximum temperature 15°C Low or minimum temperature 3°C Average temperature 15°C + 3°C = 18°C ÷ 2 = 9°C Degree summation above 5°C: 9°C- 5°C = 4 GDS on this date Question: The plant was in full bloom late on May 7th. What was the total GDS needed to reach full flowering?

18 Involvement Discussion : What do you think will happen if the temperatures warm faster? What do you think will happen if the temperatures warm faster? What do you think will happen if we have frost after a warm period? What do you think will happen if we have frost after a warm period? How will the ecosystem change over time if we have more extreme events (like late frosts)? How will the ecosystem change over time if we have more extreme events (like late frosts)? What do you think will happen to fruit production such as strawberries and apples? What do you think will happen to fruit production such as strawberries and apples?

19 Linking to others Sharing of activities, experience and data through different systems such as the Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network and NatureWatch but also exploring other sites with the students. Sharing of activities, experience and data through different systems such as the Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network and NatureWatch but also exploring other sites with the students.

20 NatureServe An Online Encyclopedia of Life -- data on 50,000+ plants, animals, and ecological communities of U.S. and Canada An Online Encyclopedia of Life -- data on 50,000+ plants, animals, and ecological communities of U.S. and Canada Searchable database available free to the public via the Internet Searchable database available free to the public via the Internet Includes conservation status, distribution maps, life histories, conservation needs, and more Includes conservation status, distribution maps, life histories, conservation needs, and more County and watershed-level data being developed County and watershed-level data being developed Precise occurrence locations excluded to protect sensitive species Precise occurrence locations excluded to protect sensitive species

21 Here are a few actions encouraged by this program examining and monitoring their environment, examining and monitoring their environment, planting one of the species in the schoolyard, planting one of the species in the schoolyard, sharing their knowledge, sharing their knowledge, involving others in similar programs. involving others in similar programs.

22 The main points are to : understand that we are all part of the problem AND the solution, understand that we are all part of the problem AND the solution, show that small actions can count and contribute to the environment, show that small actions can count and contribute to the environment, have fun learning about our environment: we are part of it! have fun learning about our environment: we are part of it!


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