Woodland/Honors Ecology

Welcome to Woodland/Honors Ecology  with MsLevy

Our textbook is Oxford Press' Sustaining Life:  How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity, edited by Eric Chivian of Harvard University's Center for Health and the Global Environment
For information  http://chge.med.harvard.edu/index.html  and go to Classroom Education

In the classroom, we also use Readers Digest Guide to North American Wildlife, and
New England Wildlife: Habitat, Natural History, and Distribution

Buds, Leaves and Global Warming Schoolyard Ecology project through Harvard Forest

Medicinal Plant Project ...  resources

Alternative Nature Online Herbal  http://www.altnature.com/gallery/  
Encyclopedia of Life http://eol.org   
Missouri Botanical Garden   http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/  

eLibrary Science, Science Resource Center links through the BHS library site

find other great sites with valid info on multiple plants = extra credit

Essential Questions
What culture was the first to recognize its medicinal qualities? How long ago?
What, if any, rituals or myths are connected to it?
If the plant is threatened/endangered: is there any controversy or concern about the plant, its habitat or the people who know it best?

What biome does it live in?(*illus) Where in the world can it be found? (*Map)
What are its plant neighbors/partners? (ie. typical plants in association with it)
How does it interact with its primary herbivores? Repel, attract, or both?
What is its status in the wild?  Abundant, or invasive, or common but only in specific habitats,
or of concern, or threatened, or endangered or nearly extinct?

3-Growing requirements-Harvesting
What animals and/or fungi and/or protistans does it depend on to thrive?
(pollinators, seed dispersers, symbionts)
What are the specific conditions it needs to grow? (light, water amount & frequency and/or type,
Soil type and pH, temperature, heat/cold tolerance, altitude, wind, disturbance)
Does it demand microhabitat conditions? or access to specific nutrients in the soil?

Does it have an active chemical?(*illus) If yes, what? If no, is the plant considered a “tonic”?
What are its effects on the human body?  Has scientific testing confirmed its effectiveness? Defend.
            What are the side effects?  Contraindications: when does it do more harm than good?
How is it prepared for use? (ie. Steeping for tea, poultice, direct, purified in a powder/pill, etc.)
What company(ies) are currently producing or researching the production

of the plant or its active chemical?

Leaf collection Native trees to look for…

Apple                   Ash             Aspen                   Birch           Cherry                  Chestnut    
Dogwood    Elm             (Gingko)     Hickory      Locust                  Maple
Oak             Sassafras    Willow        …lots more.

Leaf Collection resources .,.,. see below for more

Go Botany from the New England Wildflower Society   a simple key

EEK  Environmental Education for Kids   dichotomous tree key

LEAF  Learning, Experiences, and Activities in Forestry     Wisconsin K-12 Forestry Education Program  Dichotomous Tree Identification Key

*LeafSnap app has a likelihood of getting you a correct id 50% of the time, but usually has suggestions, one of which is likely to be the right one

Identify by Leaf

National Arbor Day - Tree Identification

Once you know the Latin genus and species, use this site for details

Missouri Department of Conservation (caution: southern-adapted trees, might not be the ones growing in western MA!)

Tree id key - Michigan State University (more likely to also be growing in WMa)



Some Tree locations around town

·        BHS around the school – Red/Norway Maple, Boxelder, Pear, Flowering Dogwood, Black/Ornamental Cherry, White/Burr/Red/Scarlet Oak, Bigtooth/Quaking Aspen, Pignut Hickory, Black Locust, Smooth Sumac, Staghorn Sumac, White/Yellow/River(Grey) Birch, Japanese Zelkova
 -   BHS end of Senior/Faculty parking lots, into the "low-meadow" and across from the loading dock - Bigtooth Aspen, Black Locust, Paperbark Maple, Smooth/Staghorn Sumac, Birch, more
·        BHS by base/softball fields & into BEF –Red & Black & Red/Black Hybrid Oak & Bigtooth Aspen &Hickory, Yellow Birch, Witchhazel, American Elm, Alternate Leaf/ Red Osier Dogwood
·        BHS under the Library overhang - Redbud
·        BHS pond – Willow & Hickory & sumac & hawthorn & white & yellow birch
·        Jabish Middle School – Tuliptree, also around the back of the Senior Center
·        Along the fence by the SRE playground-pavilion – Chestnut & Quaking Aspen & Black Cherry
·        SRE driveway across from DD drive-through – Freeman Maple (Red x Silver hybrid)
·        Swift River Elementary & Stop n Shop – Honey Locust
·        In front of B’town Day School/CHCS Tennis courts – Weeping Birch
·        Across from Checkers – purple-leaf something?… ornamental cherry or maple
·        Bank on the town green – gingko, with a Catalpa right next to it
·        Firefighters Museum – Willow, Honey Locust and Little-leaf Linden
·        In front of the Police Station – Hawthorn
·        In front of the Tadgell building – Kousa Dogwood, behind are Apple trees
·        Lake Wallace – Witchhazel & Beech & Chestnut & Black Birch & BlueBeech (American Hornbeam) & White Ash, Swamp White Oak directly behind the left base-line bench, near the edge of the lake
 -   In the lot by Roadhouse: Smooth Sumac, American Elm
 -   West of the Beef-Way auction house on Rte 9: Sycamore
·        In front of anybody’s house, dark green-to-purple maple – Norway Maple, Little Leaf Linden (they have a distinct pyramid shape), TeaRose/Rose of Sharon
·        Along the Swift River – Sycamore, and probably Basswood
·        Bridge across Fort River just past Rolling Green in Amherst – Silver Maple & Sycamore

Leaf Collection 2015
due date, Tuesday, October 25, 2016
 (turn it in on Friday the 21st for 5 points extra credit)

Note for each leaf   (must be included on the page with the tree leaf)

-Common and Latin names, put a * next to the native species
-Date collected
-Alternate or opposite branching of the leaves on the tree
-Simple or compound leaf
-Bark color and texture
-Shape of bud(s) at base of leaf
-Growing alone, inside a stand of trees or at edge of a stand of trees
-Location by crossroads, address or GPS coordinates (can you create a geotagged map with your phone?)

Honors Ecology summer work ...
 Naturalist Journal  in a bound notebook:
1-    Set-up: set aside the first full page (both sides) as your Table of Contents. Write “Table of Contents” at the top, “page” on the left, and “Title of Activity” in the center.
2-    Number the pages beyond the table of contents.
3-    Label page 1 “Close Observation - _____”, choose a flower or a leaf (the blank), do some homework and make sure it’s not Poison Ivy, and draw it in the center of the page 4-5” tall/wide.  Around the center drawing, do a series of 1-2” details of the edges, vein patterns, underside and stem.  For each drawing, write 2-3 descriptive terms. Record the title and page number in your table of contents. ~10-15min
4-    Page 2 and 3: “Long-term Study - ___ - Early Summer”  Choose a location that you will be able to return to throughout the summer and school year.  Give the location a name to include in the title (the blank).  Be sure the location includes at least one tree and gives you a clear view of the top of the tree(s) and its surroundings.  Label the 2-page spread with the date, temperature, the condition of the sky and the level of wind, plus the location.  Spend 10 minutes drawing the area across the entire width of the 2 pages.  Do not worry about your artistic ability, focus on the proportions - heights, widths, spans – to produce a scaled drawing (think city skyline).  Fill in details and color.  Write in a few descriptive details.  Fill in enough detail so that you can easily recognize the area for the next observation, especially where you’re sitting.  Record the title and page number in your table of contents. ~20-30min
5-    Over the summer, go back to the location 2 more times, reserving the next 2 2-page spreads for these observations.  Title the page, recording the conditions (date, temp, sky, wind). Do 5 minute drawings (in color or not), writing 3-4 sentence caption capturing the details of the place and/or changes or 15 minute drawings with a shorter caption. Record the title and page number in your table of contents. ~20-30min each
6-    “Close Observation – ____” A bug (insect, spider, pillbug, etc).  Locate a very cooperative bug, a dead bug, or put the bug inside a clear bag/container.  Draw, describe.   Record the title and page number in your table of contents. ~15min
7-    “Study site – mid-distance observation”  Choose a 2-3’ wide/tall area to draw and label in detail.  Record date, temp, sky, wind and the title and page number in your table of contents. ~10-15min
8-    Do 2 more Close Observations of items/organisms, with a variety of animals, plants, fungi, or their parts with a 4-5” drawing surrounded by 1-2” details.  ~10min each

9-    Go to a new location (aren’t you going on vacation sometime this summer?!) pick something to draw and describe or write a poem or lyrical prose.  Record date, temp, sky, wind and the title and page number in your table of contents.

Honors Option for Woodland Ecology
1st set of instructions … more to come
let me know by Wednesday, September 11th

Each quarter there will be …
Term Assignment: you can skip or be excused from 2 homework assignments in order to be sure you have enough time to complete the Term Assignment
Honors questions for Reading Guide or more in-depth article for Reading
An Honors section for each unit exam/test
Leadership: you act as a leader in your class, modeling positive, engaged participation in group and class activities, making yourself useful in managing our BLG data and setting up/breaking down activities that involve materials

Term 1 Term Assignment:  Habitat
Prepare a 10 minute presentation with visuals, either electronic or poster-board, to 
teach the class about a Belchertown habitat

Term 2 Term Assignment:  Individual projects
Propose a project that has the potential to be shared with or involves community participation… BHS, the elementary schools, or beyond.  Select one project from those offered on the Honors cards, or come up with your own idea.  Submit the proposal by the 2nd week of the term … must be approved before you begin.