*Note: If class participants agree, the hours of some field trips may be extended to allow for travel time. In addition, an all day field trip is planned for Friday, June 6.
MOST CLASS MEETINGS WILL INVOLVE FIELD TRIPS AND WE WILL LEAVE PROMPTLY AT THE BEGINNING OF EACH CLASS. PLEASE LEAVE A MESSAGE IF YOU WILL BE ABSENT SO WE DON’T WASTE TIME WAITING FOR YOU! PLAN TO ARRIVE AT THE CLASSROOM AT LEAST FIVE MINUTES PRIOR TO STARTING TIME. YOUR GRADE WILL BE COMPROMISED IF YOU MISS CLASS, PLEASE BE RESPONSIBLE!!!!
1. Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide, by Lawrence Newcomb 1977.
2. Ferns Of Northeastern United States, by Farida A. Wiley 1973
3. The North Woods, by Peter Marchand 1987
1. Kate Furbish and the Flora of Maine, by Ada and Frank Graham, Jr. 1995
2. Natural Landscapes of Maine: as a Classification of Ecosystems and Natural Communities, by Maine Natural Areas Program
3. Bogs of the Northeast, by Charles Johnson 1985
1. 1OX pocket magnifier (Available in the bookstore)
2. Herbarium mounting paper (Available in the bookstore) for those doing herbariums;
1. Plant Press (Provided for you – must be returned with plant collection)
2. Herbarium Labels (Provided for you)
3. A pocket knife is handy for fern identification
To further an appreciation for the natural history of our world, while concentrating on plant communities in selected Maine habitats. The purpose is not to learn all the plants available to us, but rather, to learn how to identify them and to recognize some basic plant communities. A second goal is to teach and guide others in the concepts of wildflower identification and conservation.
We will take field trips during each meeting time to maximize opportunities to see plants in their natural habitats. Expect to go outside, even if it is raining. (Plan to get wet and dirty.) This course falls well within the peak of the black fly season, so dress accordingly, and bring bug repellent hat, bandanna, etc. Also wear some sturdy boots or old sneakers and plan to get into the muck. You’ll also want a snack, bag lunch and lots of water for Thursday field trips. We sometimes get wet on canoe trips – you may want to bring a Change of clothes and shoes! Field trips are subject to change, depending on the weather, plant emergence and accessibility. Suggestions for alternative study sites are welcome. New This Year: A significant portion of this course includes UMF students committing out-of-class time to work with students at the local elementary school (Cascade Brook School) on their nature trail project.
A total of 400 points for this 3-credit course will be allocated as follows:
I. HERBARIUM COLLECTION: (200 points)
A traditional herbarium collection will be made by preserving, mounting, and Identifying 50 NATIVE species of plants. Details for preparation will be discussed in class. Other options, such as drawings or photographs will be considered as a substitute for the plant herbarium. (Ask me first). The collections will include fifty specimens from the following categories:
A. Herbaceous or woody wildflowers. (30 to 50 species)
B. Ferns. (Up to 20 native, non-endangered species):
(NO THREATENED OR ENDANGERED SPECIES, OR ELSE! 50 PTS. DEDUCTED!
If you aren’t sure if a plant is threatened or not, DON’T pick it! (Check the list)
Include only native species from at least 20 different families.
No cultivated or introduced species (aliens) allowed.
You may use native shrubs, such as a Common Eldeberry, or Shadbush.
II. QUIZZES: (60 points)
1. Terminology for identification of flowering plants (10 points)
2. Terminology for fern identification (10 points)
3. Identification of “mystery plants” (40 points)
III. SERVICE-LEARNING PROJECT: (100points)
The service-learning component this year replaces the “typical term paper.” We will work with 4th and 5th graders at Cascade Brook School (CBS) in Farmington, to teach them skills in wildflower and fern identification, and then to help them implement a nature trail, which will be accessible to the greater Farmington community. Your own learning should be enhanced through the teaching of your new skills to others. This project is being funded by a federal grant awarded by “Learn and Serve America – Corporation for Service-Learning.”
You are expected to participate fully in class workshops, as well as to make commitments on your own time to meet with small groups of CBS students to help them with their designated portion of the nature trail. Finally, you are expected to evaluate your own participation in the service-learning project. Evaluation of your effort will be as follows:
1. My evaluation of your participation with CBS students and in-class (UMF) reflection. (20%)
2. Your self evaluation through your journal and follow-up report. (60%)
3. CBS teacher evaluation of your effectiveness in helping CBS students meet their goals. (20%)
IV JOURNAL (40 points)
A journal/notebook will be kept during all class field trips and your own explorations. Include class field notes, work with CBS students, sketches, descriptions of plants, habitats, micro-habitats, family characteristics, plant associations within communities, variations within species, seasonal progression, attitudinal changes, dates and locations of specimen collections, poems, etc. It should be as detailed as possible and although your journal will not be graded for artistry, you should feel free to be creative.
Cascade Brook School Service-Learning Sessions
Arrive 5 minutes before you are scheduled
Check in at the front office and sign the volunteer log
Introduce yourself to the teacher
Respect the rights and routines of teachers and students
Inform the teacher or call the school if you won’t be there
Take field guide, notebook, markers, flagging tape and stakes with you
Remind students to bring notebooks, guides, plant press and magnifiers
Keep a running list of all plants identified
Try to be selective on what you identify — (there is no need to ID every trout lily)
Get the students back in time for their next activity
Turn in your plant list to the ’list organizer” who will coordinate as master list of plants
Pin point as best you can on the map any ’unusual” or less common plants
Let me know if your schedule changes
Feel free to visit the trail alone to get to know plants better and spend more time identifying them.
Ask for help when you need it.
Be assertive – be In charge of your group. If they are running ahead, set some rules and boundaries.
You are required to meet with your group at least 3 times – feel free to do more!
After each experience with your group, please write down your impressions. How is the project progressing from your perspective. What suggestions might you make for yourself or for others for future meetings. Does you work with the CBS students influence how and to what extent you learn the material? If so, how? Would you be learning the material quickly if you were not involved with this project? Please be as detailed possible. What worked well? What didn’t work so well?
You may be interested in knowing that this project is being funded by a grant awarded by the Maine Campus Compact. The grant monies are provided by the Federal Corporation for National and Community Service, Learn and Serve America, Higher Education Program. UMF is a member of Maine Campus Compact, a group of universities and colleges throughout Maine that is committed to Service-learning.
Professor: Nancy Prentiss
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