Exotic Invaders: Assessing Exotic Invasive Species
Students will identify and quantify the percentage of alien and invasive plant species present in national parks. Prior to the field study students will familiarize themselves with using a dichotomous key (decision tree) for plant identification by practicing with a BTW online activity. In addition to online practice, the activity “Bean There, Done That” allows students to grasp the importance of random sampling in scientific data collection by studying a sample site where beans are used to represent different plant species. Once the field study is completed, students analyze and report their data and take time to reflect on their unique park experience. Finally, students apply their knowledge and comprehension to research the impact of other invasive alien organisms. Students are encouraged to use the knowledge and experience they’ve gained in the field to engage in a service project such as participating in volunteer removal of invasive exotic plants from area national parks.