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Quantifying and Visualizing Campus Tree Phenology

Author(s): Nate Emery1, Caleb Trujillo1, Andrew Jarosz1, Tammy M Long1

Michigan State University

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This lesson, published on CourseSource, enables collaborative teams to collect, quantify, and analyze observable seasonal changes in nature.

Licensed under CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International according to these terms

Version 1.0 - published on 18 Apr 2019


View this resource on CourseSource:

Large enrollment courses present a challenge for instructors who want to engage students in authentic science practices that fit the recommendations of Vision & Change. Our lesson provides a meaningful science experience for undergraduates in the context of a large introductory biology course by guiding them to measure seasonal changes of plants on campus. Plant phenology is the study of periodic life cycle events in plants such as bud break, flowering, and leaf senescence. This lesson enables collaborative teams to collect, quantify, and analyze observable seasonal changes in nature. Students collect phenology data on an open-source digital database accessible from their mobile devices. Data are then imported into a simple analytical application hosted by the Quantitative Undergraduate Biology Education and Synthesis Hub (QUBES). Students use the collected data to develop a proposal with questions, hypotheses, and data visualizations. This lesson engages students in authentic inquiry about local and readily observable natural history patterns related to inter- and intraspecific variation in plants and promotes development of observational, quantitative, and communication skills. Our lesson design is highly flexible and suitable across different course levels, course sizes, and college campuses.

CourseSource Citation:

Emery, N.C., Trujillo, C.M., Jarosz, A., and Long, T. 2019. Quantifying and Visualizing Campus Tree Phenology. CourseSource.

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Emery, N., Trujillo, C., Jarosz, A., Long, T. M. (2019). Quantifying and Visualizing Campus Tree Phenology. QUBES Educational Resources.

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