Data Inquiry Activities
Below are links to lessons developed by teachers in our RET (Research Experience for Teachers) program. All lessons use data from the Hubbard Brook or Bartlett Experimental Forests in NH, and are geared for middle and high school students across several science disciplines.
These resources are available free of charge thanks to the generous support of the USDA-Forest Service and the National Science Foundation’s sLTER Program.
Go with the Flow
Appropriate for middle and high school Earth science, ecology and environmental science classes. Does more water flow out of a watershed when trees are removed? By graphing and analyzing data to answer this question, students will think about the role that trees and transpiration play in the water cycle. Go with the Flow is a multi-part lesson, and all or parts of it may be used. The graphing exercise is the heart of the lesson, but an introductory slideshow and reading (with questions) are also provided, which provide important background information on the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, ecosystem-level experimental design and the water cycle.
Appropriate for advanced high school ecology and environmental science classes. Students develop science process skills as they work with data from the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest to answer the question, “What influences the survival of sugar maple seedlings?”
Appropriate for middle and high school Earth science and environmental science classes. Students distinguish between snow depth, density, and water equivalent of snow and then examine snow depth data from Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest to determine long term trends. Students then develop and execute methods to collect data on snow depth, density, and water equivalent of snow in the school yard.
Climate Change- a hot topic!
Appropriate for high school ecology and environmental science classes. Students explore possible effects of climate change by graphing and analyzing 40 years of ice cover data from Mirror Lake, NH, and then describe how a decrease in the duration of ice cover might affect lake ecology.
Colder Soils in a Warmer World?
Appropriate for advanced high school ecology and environmental science classes. Climate scientists predict that in the future there will be less snowfall on average, and a later onset of the winter snowpack. Knowing that snow is a natural insulator, scientists have been researching how less snow might affect life on the forest floor. Students graph and analyze snow depth and soil frost data to explore how a decrease in snowpack might affect forest floor dynamics.