What affects biodiversity? – analyzing squat spot data
How to do this without kids dropping off the perch? Collecting and analyzing class data is always a challenge. Karen and I set up a spread sheet so we can group data by say, where on the hill they were. Had them re-identify some plants that Barbara L, a professional field botanist had helped with, update their biodiversity counts in their table groups and do some questions while I had tables come up with their data and enter it in the spreadsheet. (Important not to have idle time while I’m helping them enter data….)
Kids gathered round with clipboards and we sorted the data from most to least biodiverse. Then they looked for what low and high biodiverse areas had in common, if anything. Very intent. Much more engaged than when I have blah, blah-ed through it last year. What a shock. They get to do the fun stuff this year instead of me.
But very little WAS correlated with biodiversity. Maybe the less trampled areas tended to be a little more diverse. Opened up questions about edge effects, slope, dryness when we compared it with our own observations. Also questions about the reliability of our data. I’ll use this method again. Always good to get them out of their seats and re-configured for a new activity. Friendly and thoughtful.
“Compare what we did to professional field biologists”
Had a professional in today – a botanist who does EIRs, habitat restoration etc. who both helped with plant classification, keys and id, and told us about her job and WHY she does it. Also a biological survey done for the park across the road. Used a ‘t’ chart for similarities and differences from what we do to the professionals. Will finish Monday.
Friday, puff, puff. Made it. Happy children released into the week end! Climbing at Cosumnes.