The Leopold Legacy: Phenology of Plants and Birds

Grade Level: 6 – 12

Activity Summary

  • Phenology is literally “the science of appearance”…this includes paying attention to when flowers bloom, lakes freeze, birds return, and pretty much anything in nature that has a life cycle! You may have heard of Aldo Leopold, a Wisconsin hero who is celebrated around the world for his work as an ecologist and his beautiful book, A Sand County Almanac.
  • In this activity, we will work in small groups to examine a set of data that includes 23 phenological events, and then share our findings with the rest of the class. We will be looking at 3 major “themes” within the data: 1) changes in plant phenology, 2) changes in bird phenology, and 3) relationships among events. You will have 2 entire class periods to build your “Phenology Case.”

Activity Material:

  1. Leopold Phenology Activity (Word)
  2. Leopold Phenology Data (Excel)

Global Warming 101

Grade Level: 3 – 12
Activity Summary:

  • The Global Warming101 Lesson Plans help students master the requisite background information on global climate change processes, the importance of the Arctic to global climate, the potential effects of global warming in the Arctic, and consider what could/should be done in response. They also help students communicate about the issue using communication strategies.

Activity Material:
http://willstegerfoundation.org/index.php/educator-resource-binder

[Materials provided by Will Steger Foundation and is free for download with simple online registration]

Climate Change, Wildlife, and Wildlands Toolkit

Grade Level: 1 – 12
Students Will:
For Ecosystems and species

  • Identify likely migration of plant and animal species and ecosystems in the Great Lakes region, and potential impacts on biodiversity.
  • Identify phenological changes over the past 100 years.
  • Correlate observed and predicted changes in wildlife, ecosystems and phenology with changes in climate.
  • Differentiate between impacts at various time scales (years/decades/centuries/millennia).

For Recreation/Tourism

  1. Summarize climate change impacts on tourism/recreation from lake levels, algae growth, snow sports, trout, ice fishing

Activity Material:
http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/wycd/ORWKit.html#studies
[Interpretive kit that includes a video, trail cards, global warming wheel card, and a CD-ROM, which contains fact sheets, brochures, case studies, sample trail talk out-lines, and a number of interactive activities. The kits focuses on four areas of the nation: • Western Mountains and Plains • Great Lakes and Upper Midwest • Chesapeake Bay and Assateague Island • Everglades and South Florida]

Climate Change and Ski Resorts

Grade Level: 6 – 12
Students Will:

  • Learn how climate change is affecting ski resorts in Europe and how they are adapting.
  • Use data from Wisconsin ski resorts to investigate whether similar trends are occurring in Wisconsin.
  • Develop plans to adapt ski resorts for functioning in a warmer climate.

Activity Material:
Climate Change and Ski Resorts Student Worksheet (Word)
Required Readings:

  1. European ski resorts and climate change
  2. Global warming forces European ski resorts to offer summer sports – Telegraph
  3. Climate change and recreation