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25 April 2024 Developing and Applying a Protocol for Long-Term Monitoring at Local Natural Areas
Karina C. White, Melanie Manion, Timothy M. Evans
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Access to authentic research is limited at the 7–12 science education level. At the same time, many local restoration projects would benefit from, but don't have access to a long-term system of monitoring. This project seeks to unite those two needs by developing a protocol for 7–12 classrooms to be able to participate in authentic research through long-term monitoring of a local restoration project. The protocol developed in this project was used by Jenison High School students at Grand Ravines Park. Grand Ravines Park is a recently acquired Ottawa County park with a history of anthropogenic disturbances. Shortly after the acquisition of the final section of the park, Ottawa County Parks and Recreation (OCPR) staff seeded the portions of the north side of the park with native grasses and forbs, and the south side of the park was not supplementally seeded. This study aimed to develop protocols for the student collection and analysis of vegetation and invertebrate biodiversity data in both the north and south sides of the park. Various metrics of plant and invertebrate biodiversity were compared between the seeded and unseeded areas. Students from Jenison High School were involved in the data collection and analysis, increasing their exposure to scientific research and field sampling and developing their scientific literacy. A long-term database was developed, with the goals of facilitating park management decisions and driving future student research questions.

Karina C. White, Melanie Manion, and Timothy M. Evans "Developing and Applying a Protocol for Long-Term Monitoring at Local Natural Areas," The American Biology Teacher 86(4), 201-204, (25 April 2024).
Published: 25 April 2024

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authentic research
long-term monitoring
student research
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