For the first five weeks of this trimester, six Eagle Rock School students have partnered with staff at Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) for the launch of its citizen science initiative — Lily Lake Phenology.
Phenology, which is vital to many aspects of society, is the study of the timing of biological life cycles (nature’s calendar, if you will). Things like budding leaves, blooming flowers, or migration of animal species. So, why should high school students care about any of this? Because long- and short-term changes in areas such as animal migration and flowering are related to our weather and climate patterns. With more information about how plants are reacting to the climate, national park staff can make informed decisions on how to manage species that might be at risk.
Sound like a worthwhile project? Of course, it is. Especially when you consider that seasonal changes in plants and animals happen quickly and require sustained and frequent observation to monitor.
That’s where our students, serving in the role of citizen scientists come into the picture. For two days each week, students in our Phenology of Lily Lake class take a Continue reading…