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Youth Education

The Climate Challenge: Finding Answers, Planting Seeds

What is the relationship between trees and climate? How are trees affected by global warming, and how can they help us adapt and mitigate in the face of a changing climate? Through hands-on learning, students will review why overall temperatures are rising and act out the carbon cycle both pre- and post-industrialization. They’ll study tree rings to make predictions about climate change, complete a stream corridor and habitat assessment, and learn how to calculate their own carbon footprint. (NGSS HSESS2-6, HS-ESS3-5)

Option for additional field experience: Students will measure the height and diameter of a collection of trees to calculate the amount of carbon they store, then visit a forest plot and conduct random sampling to estimate the number of trees per 100 square feet. Using a grid overlay on a satellite image of the Arboretum, they'll determine the square footage of forest cover. Students will combine these figures to gain an appreciation of the carbon sequestration potential of the Arboretum.