Monday, January 30, 2012

Rosemary Anderson High School

Occasionally, I have the privilege to work with a small group of high school students from Rosemary Anderson High School (RAHS). It is the Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center’s community based alternative high school, which gives at-risk students who are not succeeding in public school, a last chance for an education, and a way to change their future.

The students are incredible. Together, we have collected and identified macroinvertebrates, learned tree identification, received instruction in using ArcMap, and collected and identified different types of lichen.

With Wolftree staff as lead organizers, RAHS students have embarked on a multi-year study involving an urban tree inventory project. The tree inventory will be used to compare neighborhoods and demographics. The students are particularly interested in census information for different neighborhoods in Portland.

During times when tree identification is made difficult by the absence of leaves, such as now, the students compile the data already collected, practice using GIS, and conduct other field studies related to their tree study. These studies include lichen identification and nest observations. These side studies may or may not be used in conjunction with their tree inventory study. At the very least, the students continue to gain knowledge in data collection and scientific observations.

Submitted by Donna Allard

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