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ERIC Number: EJ1201127
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Jan
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8555
A Forest in Motion
Butera, Brett; Esser, Scott
Science Teacher, v86 n5 p22-33 Jan 2019
Citizen science can provide insightful data to inform decisions, while also serving to enhance ecological awareness and foster environmental stewardship among participants. In this article, high school student citizen scientists investigate how trees respond to changing mountain climate during a field trip to Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) to conduct a forest inventory. The field trip is part of an ongoing project in which students collect and analyze data to monitor changes in the ecological structure of forest communities. The data will help RMNP scientists better understand how tree species are adapting to a changing mountain climate. Facilitating this kind of place-based citizen science experience requires a significant amount of advance planning and preparation both in the field and the classroom. Through this experience students gain appreciation for scientific methods and what it takes to conduct science in the field while contributing to the citizen science database. Students practice critical skills such as analyzing scientific texts and data and producing evidence-based writing. Students connect to the natural world around their communities and gain a greater awareness of the impact that climate change and disturbance are having on Rocky Mountain forests. They also gain a greater respect for nature and the preservation of public lands.
National Science Teachers Association. 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782; Fax: 703-243-3924; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado (Denver)