BRING THE ADIRONDACKS INTO YOUR CLASSROOM


ADIRONDACK CHALLENGES

Silviculture Challenge
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Grade: 10th - 12th grades
Class: Living Environment
Author: Ann Green
NYS Content Area Standard:
Math, Science & Technology:
Standard 4: Science
NYS Interdisciplinary Standard:
Adirondack Curriculum Content Area:
Natural History
Performance Indicators:

NATIONAL STANDARDS

Science: Understands the Nature of Scientific Inquiry

Mathematics: Uses basic and advanced procedures while performing the processes of computation

Keywords: measuring trees, forestry
The Challenge:
Investigative Question or Issue: Do the trees in your forest have enough space to grow?
Context:

Challenge originally created by J. Winters & A. Green.

Foresters make management decisions (whether to thin or cut trees) based on forest inventory data. Inventory data can help provide information on how crowded a forest is, based on the number, size, and type of trees, and provide insight as to whether there has been any disturbance in the recent past. The teacher can choose to have students do more interpretation of their inventory results in those areas. This challenge specifically has students use forestry measurements and summaries to determine the status of the forest with respect to tree density which is reported as number of trees/acre and basal area of trees/acre. Basal area (BA) of a tree is defined as the cross-sectional area of a tree stem at 4.5 ft from the ground, the height at which diameter is measured.

The teacher will want to show students how to use a Biltmore stick and give them some tools for tree identification prior to beginning this challenge. The students will eventually need to know the area (in acres) that they are inventorying.

The Challenge:

In your lab groups, create a field inventory of all the trees found in an area chosen with the help of your teacher. Your inventory should include an accurate accounting of the species, diameter, height, and basal area of each of the trees found in your plot. Once you have collected the data on each tree in your forested area, you will need to calculate the number of trees/acre, and the total basal area of trees/acre. As a group, you will then draw conclusions using the same charts that foresters use about whether the forest is “over stocked”, “well spaced” or “under stocked”. Be sure to check with your teacher to find out the criteria for a quality Field Inventory. Make sure that every group member understands and agrees with all the data submitted in your inventory and is prepared to verify, explain and defend all the data submitted, if asked to do so.

Procedures:

  • Determine the minimum diameter of trees to inventory. (4 inches is typical.)
  • Students develop a field plan for collecting the data (strategy for identifying and measuring all the trees, group roles/jobs
  • The equation for determining individual tree basal area (BA) is : BA (square feet) = DBH2 (inches) X 0.005454

Resources:

http://www.fs.fed.us/na/morgantown/frm/stewardship/pubs/refhbk/refhbk.pdf

http://www.na.fs.fed.us/pubs/misc/flg/index.cfm

A Northern Forest Partnership challenge.

Quality Standards:
  • Each group member participates in the creation of the field inventory.
  • Each group member can demonstrate the capacity to identify a tree species using a tree identification key.
  • Each group member can demonstrate the capacity to use a Biltmore stick to measure a tree in the field.
  • All aspects of the field inventory meet the criteria for a quality Field Inventory as agreed upon in class
  • Each group member can verify, explain, and defend the data presented in the inventory when asked to do so.
Product Quality Checklist
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Standard/Criteria: Points Possible: Points Awarded:

All aspects of the field inventory meet the criteria for a quality Field Inventory

Each group member can demonstrate the capacity to identify a tree species using a tree identification key

Each group member can demonstrate the capacity to use a Biltmore stick to measure a tree in the field.

Each group member participates in the creation of the field inventory

Each group member can verify, explain, and defend the data presented in the inventory when asked to do so.

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