Blogs

Emerald Ash Borer Update

Hey there VS Community,

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced an expansion of their Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) quarantine area. It comes right up to the border of Maine, just below Aroostook County line. Read this bulletin for more information.

You can get involved in EAB monitoring efforts with Vital Signs by following the Field Mission steps HERE.

Investigating Macros with Students in the 5th Grade

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Guest blog post by Alanna Doughty, educator, Lakes Environmental Association, Bridgton

I am an environmental educator outside of the school, working with lots of different classes. This year I embarked on a macroinvertebrate and water quality analysis with 5th graders.

Climate Change and Invasive Species in the News

How do marine debris and climate change affect the movement of species across the world's oceans? Will we see a new wave of marine invasives as extreme weather events become the norm? Check out this news article from ecoRInews: Riding the Waves: Invasion of Exotic Marine Species.

Loranger Memorial School 6th grade Science Investigation- Is the Goosefare Brook a healthy ecosystem?

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Guest blog post by Laura Seaver-Maley, Loranger Memorial School, Old Orchard Beach

Our investigation revolved around the question, “Is Goosefare Brook a healthy ecosystem?”

Fall 2017 Field Season in Review


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The Fall 2017 field season was a season of diving deeper for the Vital Signs Community. Citizen scientists from all across the state and into NH gathered and shared meaningful, environmental data.

Round 2 - Vital Signs Freshwater Investigation Mini-Grant

We rely on our ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams for drinking water, recreation, and economic opportunities. With 5,700 water bodies and countless waterways, Maine’s freshwater resource managers need Maine students to be citizen scientists in their local freshwater ecosystems, and to help raise awareness in their communities. Freshwater investigations can be challenging - special equipment may be required and field sites may not be accessible from the school campus.

Fieldwork Management Strategies and Teacher Tips

Veteran Vital Signs teacher, Kellie Oullette shares her strategies for maximizing learning during fieldwork in a recent email conversation:

Q: How do you find enough time get out into the field in one class period?

I can get students to do their field work in one class period after they've been through the process once. They need to truly understand what their responsibilities are in the field, which some of them don't totally "get" until they've done it once and realized that they were lacking detail/information.

BOLO for Brown marmorated stink bug

News Release from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry:
AUGUSTA – Entomologists at the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) are seeking public assistance locating the brown marmorated sting bug (BMSB). Recent posts to the DACF’s Maine Bug Watch Facebook page have state officials interested in the prevalence of the BMSB in Maine. The bug is a major agricultural pest in other states and has caused severe economic damage to a number of crops in the mid-Atlantic states.

Regional Middle School Teacher Communities with Vital Signs

The Vital Signs Team is working with middle school educators from across the state who are excited about bringing more authentic science investigations into their classrooms. These regional teacher communities (RTCs) are focused on building community in rural teacher communities, enhancing teacher practice, and increasing student interest and success in science.

Browntail Moth Boom

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According to the Maine Forest Service, this is one of the "worst major, widespread outbreaks in over one hundred years." Read this article for the full story on the browntail moth in the northeast - http://www.northeastipm.org/about-us/publications/ipm-insights/browntail...

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