Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Challenge Winter 2023

9:30 AM–10:15 PM | Online | Private

Join the effort to protect hemlock forests in the Northeast

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Challenge Winter 2023

Hemlock woolly adelgid is an invasive forest pest posing an existential threat to Eastern hemlock forests. Sign up for the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Challenge this February to join the growing network of thousands of youth, educators, and community members across the Northeast working to protect our forests from infestation and advance research into management options.

The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid challenge will kick off Wednesday, February 8th, with a live virtual meeting with the project’s lead scientists, Horticulturist Gary Fish and Entomologist Colleen Teerling. During the challenge, students will build background knowledge around forest hemlock ecosystems and head out into local forests to collect data. As the results come in, the GMRI team will share project updates and emerging questions. The challenge will wrap up March 8th with a virtual gathering in which students and lead scientists share observations and questions from their work in the field. Students that are not able to join the live session may contribute comments or video clips ahead of time to be shared with the community.

Supports for educators in the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Challenge include:

  • A virtual educator information session on January 26 from 3:30 - 4:30 in which we will discuss the research project, how students can get involved, and resources to support educators (the recording will be shared afterwards).
  • Ready to use, NGSS-aligned classroom resources, including class slides, videos, games, identification materials, adaptable for upper elementary through high school
  • Materials needed for fieldwork (rulers, hand lenses, Identification cards, flagging tape)
  • Ongoing support from the project team

Benefits to students include:

  • Connections to professional scientists and a network of peers involved in the same project
  • Experience with fieldwork
  • Real life significance for their work!
  • An authentic context for building STEM practices, ecosystem knowledge, and understanding of localized impacts of climate change

Feedback from the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Challenge:

“We absolutely love to see the results! It helps us decide how to manage the insects through quarantines. You can also help us learn about how climate change is affecting invasive species, and we can communicate that with legislatures. It can make a difference” - Lead Scientist, Maine State Horticulturist, Gary Fish

“The students were excited that they would be contributing data to real scientists. They also loved that their data, observations and questions were featured in the final Zoom meeting.” - Participating Teacher

“I liked the feeling that we were contributing to something important.” - Student scientist

Email Meggie at [email protected] with questions or to learn more about opportunities to involve students in community science.