95th ESA Annual Meeting (August 1 -- 6, 2010)

WK 18 - Emerald Ash Borer in the Classroom: Invasive Pest an Opportunity for Citizen Science

Monday, August 2, 2010: 8:00 PM-10:00 PM
305, David L Lawrence Convention Center
Kathleen S. Knight
Joanne Rebbeck and Deborah A. Bogard
Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) (EAB), a beetle accidentally introduced into North America, has killed >40 million ash (Fraxinus spp.) trees in the Midwest and is rapidly spreading across the U.S.A. and Canada. Ash trees are common in forests and popular in urban areas, and EAB effects may be reflect those of Dutch elm disease or chestnut blight, representing an excellent educational opportunity. We developed an EAB curriculum based on a project with 7th-8th grade students who studied EAB at their school forest. The curriculum includes options for any age group. Students experience the entire process of science, creating hypotheses, making observations outdoors, dissecting ash trees to collect data on EAB and other insects, collecting data, making graphs and interpreting results, and presenting conclusions. During our project, students discovered parasitoid cocoons, which were reared and identified as Leluthia astigma, a native parasitoid wasp not previously known to parasitize EAB. Their data on EAB gallery distribution, larval mortality, life stages, and woodpecker predation also provided useful scientific insights into the biology of EAB. Workshop participants will be prepared to incorporate the EAB curriculum in their own classroom, whether it is 4th grade science or a college-level ecology lab, through a review of EAB biology and symptoms, hands-on peeling of EAB-infested ash logs, hands-on data collection, a discussion of results from the project, and examination of specimens of EAB larvae, EAB adults, parasitoids, and other insects encountered in ash logs.

Registration Fee: $0

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