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Studying Climate with Citizen Scientists Through STEM Education

This new initiative creates a Citizen Science project centered on phenology (seasonal changes in flora and fauna) to increase the park’s capacity to involve youth in unique and educational park experiences. A curriculum-based program will introduce students to three STEM components:  The science of how climate affects the timing of seasonal changes in local plants and animals; how technology, such as mobile-device apps, GPS units and computerized data processing programs, can assist scientists in field work; and how mathematics are applied to analyze data results that answer scientific questions.

This hands-on program will encourage youth to carefully observe their natural surroundings on field trips to the park using techniques that can be applied within their own schools and backyards. The data collected by youth and adult participants will be contributed to nationwide databases such as Project Budburst and the National Phenology Network. The result will allow park managers to gain insight from these databases into how climate is impacting our local flora and fauna.

In addition, this project will support the park’s entire Citizen Science program including the study of loons, mammals in the high country and invasive weeds.

Skills

Posted on

July 19, 2016