Back to School Teaching Tools: Using Phenocam Images in the Classroom

The new school year has begun. As we trade in our flip flops and towels for shoes, socks, and shirts, the world around us is also signalling the change of seasons. The grass and trees will soon be getting their autumn colors as they fade from their vigorous summer greens and yellows to reds, oranges, and browns. This is a great time to introduce and discuss concepts of seasonal change, phenology,

The Harvard Forest website has over two dozen great resources to get students (5th grade – high school) thinking about seasonal change. Below are several exercises that especially stood out:

  1. Comparing historical writing to current phenocam data for observe changes in species leaf off timing
  2. Comparing the percentage of color change of individual trees in a phenocam image to the percentage of change in a canopy-wide image
  3. Generating a temperature vs. percent leafs fallen graph

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