Celebrating 20 Years of Forest Watch
FOREST WATCH celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2011. Here are a few facts about what we’ve done in those 20 years:
- There are currently 148 active teachers in 126 schools.
- Forest Watch has worked with 258 Schools in all five New England States plus a few schools in New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania
- Samples have been taken from 1767 white pine trees in 3,497 field samples. Two sets of twigs are collected in each sampling, a total of 6,994 pine needle samples.
- The number of students who participate varies from small elementary classes of 12 to 20 students to high schools in which three or four classes of students participate. We estimate that if four students worked on each of the 6,994 field samples, almost 28,000 students have been involved in Forest Watch!
- A very few trees, such as Tree #100 at the Sant Bani School, Sanbornton, NH, were among the first to be sampled and are still being sampled this year. Some 80 Sant Bani students have had a hand in studying Tree #100 over the past two decades. Thanks to their longterm measurements, we know that Tree #100 has grown 9.9 meters since 1992. It has also gained 18.28 cm in girth, adding about 1 cm a year in wood. And Tree #100 has added more than half a meter in height each year.
- A few Forest Watch white pines grew too tall for students and teachers to sample. Some were blown down by ice storms or cut to make room for new playing fields. These have been replaced by new white pines at schools that continue to participate in Forest Watch.
- The Forest Watch Data Base contains both biometric and spectral measures from the 6,994 samples. This includes three different indices of tree health taken with the Visible Infrared Intelligent Spectrometer (VIRIS) and 25 different biometric measures. The resulting 196,132 datum provide UNH researchers with a unique 20-year-record of white pine growth and response to ground-level ozone. The measurements provide teachers and students with a school-based statistical data set for use in calculus, statistics and other math and science classes.
- As part of our celebration in 2011, we are adding a Query tool to our web page so that students and teachers can compare a single biometric measurement through the years or school to school, compare a biometric measure with a spectral measurement or any other combination of the data.