Your Learning Connection #2

 

Your Learning Connection  |  March 30, 2020  |  Vol. 1, No. 2 

 

 

 

Backyard BioBlitz!

Join us in a Backyard BioBlitz challenge to geolocate as many signs of spring as we can! What is a BioBlitz, you ask? Watch this video to find out:

You can help us populate our BioBlitz ArcGIS Storymap by uploading photos of your discoveries straight from your smartphone. It’s easy. Just follow the story map link, then hit the “add a photo” button.

Title your picture and define your location, or you can let the map geolocate it for you. Your description can be brief and can include observations such as behaviors, coloration, unique characteristics, or something fun, like how you found it or time of day. Having trouble identifying it? Don’t worry, the name is less important than the details: What color is the bark? What shape is the tree? Are there any seeds or flowers present or underneath? What else do you notice?

Get outside and show us your finds (plant or animal), evidence (nests, scat, bones, tracks), and action shots (collecting, netting, trapping, exploring). Your images will be geolocated onto our ArcGIS story map along with other BioBlitzers’. 

On a smartphone? Use this link to our story map.

Curiosity is the key, friends. Slow down, look closely, and remember to LEAVE NO TRACE.  Have fun, and share your local signs of Spring!

Where Covid-19 is spiking, it may not be possible to get out at all, so pay close attention to guidelines in your community before heading outside. If you cannot get out you can use the BioBlitz storymap to explore virtually. If you can explore outdoors, remember to keep physical distance and stay at least six-feet away from anyone you aren’t living with. You can check out this link for more details and tips on getting outside during Covid-19.

Mark your calendars for September 26, 2020 and join us for our next our dawn to dusk BioBlitz in Odiorne Point State Park!

 

Seahorse Spotlight

Seahorses are one of the most strangely shaped fish and slowest swimmers in the ocean. You’ll often find them just hanging out, using their prehensile tail to grab onto things so they don’t drift away from their habitat. In the video below, SSC’s Henry Burke shares a closeup view and more fun facts about this amazing creature.

After watching the video, learn more with this fun seahorse shape activity.

Click on the links below for all of the materials you’ll need:

Seahorse Activity Sheet
Seahorse Tangram
Seahorse Diagram

Special thanks to SSC Volunteer Laurie, who offers you this reading of Mister Seahorse, written and illustrated by Eric Carle, and published by Philomel Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group.

  

  

  

Seaweed on the Seashore

Sometimes seaweed gets a bad rap! It can be slippery, slimy, and even smelly! But algae is awesome! It is able to thrive along the dynamic rocky shore and is a crucial part of the intertidal ecosystem. Seaweed grows all along the New Hampshire coast, providing food and hiding spots for many rocky shore animals. 

In this video, SSC Naturalist Daryn challenges you to find three different species of seaweeds. (Please note: NH beaches are currently closed to help support social distancing. Please check town and state regulations before heading to the beach.) 

In the meantime, we challenge you to check out these local species, and to make some sketches or biological illustrations of your favorites. Try labeling or coloring and send your favorites in to [email protected] if you would like us to post them on social media!

Want to find out the names of more seaweed species? Check out our Seaweed Word Search and What is a Seaweed pages for more fun facts. 

Challenge: Do you think you can find items in your household that contain seaweed? Hint: check out What is a Seaweed to find out what carrageenan is, what it is used for, and which items may contain it. 

 

 

Shapes in Nature Scavenger Hunt

There are tons of shapes to be found in nature, some of which can even be described in perfect mathematical terms, such as the Fibonacci number that describes the spirals found in snail shells, hurricanes, and our own hands. See how artist John Edmark is tapping into the underlying geometry called the Golden Property that determines the spatial arrangement of flower petals and pinecone scales..

It’s time to head outside and have a nature adventure! What patterns and shapes can you find as you explore? Can you check off all of the items in our Shapes in Nature Scavenger Hunt? What other shapes did you find? The examples in our scavenger hunt are starting points.  If you get stuck, cut out an example of each shape and hold it up as you hunt. What was the easiest shape to find? The most difficult?

 

 

 
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