Fall 2016 Newsletter

Submitted by admin on Wed, 2016-09-07 11:35

Greetings Climate Lab participants!

We here at the Climate Lab hope you all had calm and restful summers and that you are getting back into the swing of things this school year. The newly opened mist nets at Manomet have been full of southbound migrants, many of which are using berries to fuel their migration.

This Gray Catbird will use berries to fuel its southward migration.

This Gray Catbird will use berries to fuel its southward migration
 

We have been showing signs of fall activity as well! In the past couple of months we’ve been hard at work deciphering student data and assessing teacher feedback in order to revise the project in a way that fosters more robust and meaningful participation at all schools.

 

One of the biggest constraints on Climate Lab teachers is time. Although we’d all love to get out into the field every day, we recognize that the constraints on teachers in the spring (standardized testing and end-of-the-year duties) are real and varied. In order to address this issue, we have been developing a menu of options to choose from. We’re calling it the Climate Lab Project Chooser!

 

LET US KNOW YOUR PLANS!

Now is the time for you go start getting this year’s teacher and parent consent forms filled out! You can find these and other resources on the Climate Lab Materials and Resources page. Please send completed forms to:

 

Brian Drayton c/o TERC

2067 Massachusetts Ave.

Cambridge, MA 02140

 

On the Chooser website, you will find a list of suggested Climate Lab inquiry-based activities, ordered by the amount of time required to complete them. Regardless of their size, each of these is designed to collect data that will contribute to Manomet's research on climate change, while offering you and your students a way to learn key science concepts and practices. To support this, we have identified the key science concepts connected with each activity, and the science and math standards that would be addressed. You will also see a list of curriculum pieces next to each activity — so that if you do not already have curriculum to cover this content, the Climate Lab supplies it. These pieces should be taught along with the activity. The class time needed to complete these lessons is also included in the Chooser. Our hope is that this tool will help you make a choice up front about how much time you will be committed to in order to collect usable data, while your students learn the material. 

 

We also found that the current field work requirements are a bit too demanding for the average teacher to be able to get a full (before and after leaf-out) sample size of all three protocols. As a result, we have pared down the protocols and would like those electing to collect data along their transects to prioritize the leaf measures. This season you should measure your 30 leaves to the nearest millimeter (not 0.1mm). That way your students can use the metric side of a standard ruler if you are short on calipers! Newest versions of the protocols and datasheets can be found here.  If you have any questions regarding plant ID, please ask CL staff for help…that’s why we’re here!

 

We will soon be contacting you with the link to the Climate Lab Project Chooser, and also with a list of Webinar and Skype options for the fall, so that we can reach out to you, and to your students.  Expect our next email in about two weeks.

 

Please try your best to keep us apprised of your plans! Your communication with us is important to our research planning. As always, please feel free to direct your questions and feedback to Evan Dalton at Manomet (edalton@manomet.org).

Thank you all for your continued support!

 

 The Climate Lab Team