On Friday, April 6, 2018, SBS faculty member Meghan Lena and student Bri Rooks ’18 presented at the spring workshop for the Harvard Forest’s Schoolyard Ecology Program. For three years, Meghan has been engaged with the Harvard Forest’s Long-Term Ecological Research program, tracking the presence of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, an invasive pest that attacks hemlock trees. Meghan’s science classes have gathered data on tree growth and the presence of the pest in a study site in the woods behind Stoneleigh-Burnham School.
Bri adopted the Harvard Forest protocol for her Internal Assessment for IB Biology, a component of the course in which she designs, conducts, and reports on her own scientific investigation. Bri’s research compared the Hemlock growth and the presence of two invasive pests that infect Eastern Hemlock trees. Bri chose this topic because these invasive species have the potential to transform the structure of New England forests, which can effect ecological niches and habitat. Bri sampled trees at Stoneleigh-Burnham School and at a site near her home in Vernon, VT. In the winter, she attended a data workshop at the Harvard Forest and was able to work with the lead Woolly Adelgid scientist David Orwig to make sense of her 200 data points and create graphs that capture the trends in the data.
At last week’s workshop, Meghan and Bri presented on the process and results of her study, highlighting the ways in which collaboration between researchers and students can be incredibly meaningful. The Harvard Forest was thrilled to have a student present at their Schoolyard Ecology workshop for the first time!