Long-Term Out-of-Class Assignments

Arboretum Project adobe

Visit the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens at 179th & Switzer. Use the signs dispersed along the trails to examine your choice of 10 trees and/or vines. Obtain the common names and the species names for each plant from the signs. Record this information. Make some “copy” of a representative leaf from each plant you identify. This can be in the form of a picture, a video, a tracing, a rubbing, a drawing, or other illustration of the leaf. DO NOT PICK THE LEAVES. Finally, step back and look at the tree, its canopy shape, bark texture, bark color, etc. In one paragraph, describe how to distinguish this tree without using its leaves.

50 Points – Due Tuesday, October 30th

Monarch Watch Project (Extra Credit)

We will be participating in the Monarch Watch Project sponsored by KU. This involves tagging Monarch butterflies during the fall migration as well as planting milkweed to help sustain the population. Tagging takes place on Sept 22nd in Lawrence, or we will have tags available during class time. The migration only lasts a few weeks, so you must keep your eyes open.

Maximum 15 EXTRA CREDIT Points, 3 per monarch – Due by Thursday, October 11th

Animal Observation

Choose a wild animal to observe (not a cat or dog). Choose an animal that moves around or stimulate behavior in some natural way like putting food onto a spider’s web. Spend at least one hour observing the animal. This time need not be continuous but can be broken down into segments at least 15 minutes long. Record and describe everything observed. Do not speculate about what the observations mean. When finished observing, take plenty of time to look over the notes for patterns and unexpected behaviors. Write a brief essay (one side of one paper) describing these patterns and behaviors and hypothesizing what role they might play in the life of the organism. When the essay is submitted, the field notes should be attached to it.

30 Points – Due Monday, November 26th

Service Project

Each student will complete an institutionally-organized, biologically-related service project totaling three (3) hours. All ecologically sensitive work will count. Ideas might include volunteering at the Kansas City Zoo; helping at the Overland Park Arboretum; volunteering at Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, helping out in the development of the Blue Valley Wilderness Science Center; or other service projects that students clear with Ms. Strieby. Each student must turn in documentation of participation with the supervisor’s signature along with a 1-paragraph written summary of the project.

40 Points – Due Monday, December 10th

Insect Collection adobe

Each student is required to complete an insect collection consisting of 10 insects or more. This collection should include insects from at least 7 different orders. The insects should be properly pinned on a suitable surface. A small piece of Styrofoam works well. Cardboard would also be acceptable. Each insect should be accompanied by a label stating the Order, Family, and the scientific name. A log should be turned in with each collection stating the date each insect was captured, the time of the capture, and the location where the insect was captured. Each student must prepare a dichotomous key identifying each of the insects in the collection.

60 Points – Due Monday, September 17th