Summary: Students adopt a wetland and collect data to help determine the amount of carbon sequestered by the wetland, and engage in water quality monitoring to promote the efficiency of carbon sequestration.
Concepts to teach:
- Crosscutting Concepts
- Cause and Effect
- Disciplinary Core Ideas
- ESS3.C – Human Impacts on Earth Systems
- Science Practices
- Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
- Human actions can affect the health of marine wetland ecosystems
- Healthy marine wetland ecosystems sequester carbon and help to offset the effects of increased carbon in the atmosphere
Standards: NGSS Performance Expectations
- MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
Students will be able to:
- Identify a field site that could benefit from habitat assessment and/or restoration
- Engage in data collection and/or restoration efforts
- Design a solution for a problem at the field site that is associated with climate change
Activity Links and Resources:
- Review the Blue Carbon and the Citizen Biomonitoring topic guides
- Bringing Wetlands to Market curriculum—Activities in this curriculum include adopting a wetland to measure the amount of carbon sequestered, and to promote the efficiency of carbon sequestration through water quality monitoring.
- Stewardship Projects—Lesson 4.3 provides Ideas for ways students can serve as stewards of a local wetland area.
- Adopt a Wetland Stewardship Project and Field Study—Students develop their own research question to be answered in the field
- Field Activity: How much carbon is in the soil?
- Guidance document: Adopt a Wetland Student-Designed Studies and measuring carbon content in plants
- Coring for Carbon—In teacher workshops, OCEP used this protocol developed by OIMB’s Craig Cornu to determine the percentage of organic material in salt marsh vs. upland soils. Download the Student worksheet and the Group data spreadsheet used to record sample data and calculate percentages.
- Activity: Wetland Investigations: Hydrology from the SMILE program at Oregon State University. Water quality can affect a wetland’s ability to efficiently sequester carbon.
- Activity: Score One for the Estuaries from NOAA Estuaries Education describes how middle school students can become stewards of estuaries. Includes Climate Extension sections.
- How much carbon is stored in your study site? How did you arrive at this estimate?
- How does the amount of carbon stored in your wetland compare to the amount of carbon stored in a non-wetland area?
- What is the estimated value of the carbon stored in your study site? How did you come to this estimate, what are the limits on the number, and what information do you need to make a more accurate valuation?
- What does the water quality tell you about human impacts on the study site?
- What other benefits and services does your adopted wetland provide?