Schoolyard Ecology

You may have noticed that some of the Season Spotter images overlook parking lots. We are interested in the trees beyond the parking lots, of course. But how did these locations get chosen? Well, these cameras are all on schools. The Harvard Forest Schoolyard Ecology program engages K12 teachers to bring ecology instruction into their classrooms. The teachers work with scientists to learn cutting-edge science and then together they figure out how to teach the science to students in a fun and interactive way.

Several years ago, PhenoCams were installed on the roofs of several schools in the Northeast U.S. and they have been part of the PhenoCam network ever since. Students at these schools analyze images from “their” PhenoCam and learn about seasonal change and climate.

There is also a Harvard Forest Schoolyard Ecology blog, and the most recent post shows this year’s fall color change from PhenoCams at some of these schools. Have a look!


About Margaret Kosmala

I am an ecologist exploring the complex dynamics of plant and animal systems. I am especially interested in understanding how species communities change over time and how humans impact them.
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