Managing Invasive Species: Engaging the Next Generation in Resource Management

This curriculum is an extension of the Vital Signs Population Change Over Time Data Investigation curriculum. Both can be done independently of one another, but were created to complement one another. This curriculum extension provides the parts and pieces to enable you and your students to go further with your Vital Signs work and put an invasive species management project into action!

iMapInvasives is a different platform managed in Maine by the Maine Natural Areas Program. Vital Signs collects your observations and connects you to species experts. The iMapInvasives platform allows you to record your management activities. The instructions included in this curriculum will help guide you through using this tool with your students and will also open up opportunities for you and your students to continually monitor, assess, and treat invasives over time.

Projects can range from manually pulling some invasive plants on your school’s property, to having students organize and collaborate with town managers to implement a treatment and monitoring program. We present this curriculum assuming a Fall start, but if you are looping with a class you could start in the spring and continue the following fall. You can also start the ball rolling with one class and have it be a continuing unit that builds year after year with different students. Just know that our time allotments and timeframes are only suggestions.

The Vital Signs Notebook (Appendix I) is a great tool for both formative and summative assessment. This notebook is organized with questions for each activity throughout this curriculum.

*This project is a collaboration between GMRI’s Vital Signs program and Maine Natural Areas Program. It is generously supported by Disney, through a Creativity Garden grant, a nationwide project of the Association of Science-Technology Centers [ASTC]. It is also supported by a grant from the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund (MOHF). MOHF is a program through which proceeds from the sale of a dedicated instant lottery ticket (currently Maine-ah Money) are used to support outdoor recreation and natural resource conservation. For more information visit the MOHF website.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)


I think that creating a management plan for an invasive species gives students a chance to see that what they are learning about has real world applications and ramifications. Resource management can seem abstract and arbitrary at times, but students will see that the decisions that go into making management plans are based on data and are peoples best attempts to devise solutions that make sense given ecosystem parameters.

I am super excited to learn more about this new curriculum. It is something that my students and I will be participating with because we have an area of land just beside our school that needs help. How cool to start a project that they can see their efforts have affected change for the better!

I am headed to school to do some printing of GMRI curriculum, so I can preview in bit more depth.

Thank You!