Vernal Pools: Place-based Education and Stewardship

Grant: # 1515

Grant Amount: $90,000.00

Board Decision Year: 2015

Michigan State University Extension - Michigan Natural Features Inventory (Lansing)

Michigan Natural Features Inventory

Lee, Yu Man (leeyum@msu.edu) 517-284-6201

2015 Great Lakes Stewardship - Other Great Lakes Stewardship

Project Details

The project is complete. During the grant period, the Vernal Pool Patrol, a statewide citizen science- and place-based vernal pool mapping and monitoring program, was adapted for K-12 educators and students, primarily at the upper elementary, middle and high school levels, to get involved with the program. A total of 18 teachers/educators and over 740 upper elementary, middle, and high school students from 13 different schools across northern Michigan were trained and participated in the Vernal Pool Patrol pilot program between 2015 and 2017. Over 25 community partners also assisted the teachers and students and participated in the pilot program. All the teachers who participated in the program and the evaluation said that they would recommend the program to other teachers. The teachers also said that the students enjoyed and were highly engaged in the program. A web-based platform (i.e., Google form) was developed for students to enter, view, and download their vernal pool monitoring data as well as data collected by students monitoring other vernal pools in the project area. The Vernal Pool Patrol pilot program provided additional information on vernal pools and increased our knowledge and understanding of their status, distribution, and ecology in Michigan. At least 20 new vernal pools were identified, mapped, and monitored by the educators and students. Fairy shrimp, which only live in vernal pools, was found by the students in at least eight of the vernal pools that were monitored, including perhaps the first documentation of fairy shrimp in a wooded dune and swale natural community. The program resulted in significant increases in awareness and understanding of vernal pools and an increase in attitudes towards stewardship. It resulted in new collaborations with a number of teachers, students, and community partners, including the GLSI, and stronger and expanded existing partnerships for MNFI in the project area.

Documents

Final Report
View - GLFT_2015.1515_MSU_Vernal_Pools_PBE_Stewardship_Final_Report.pdf
Evaluation Report
View - MNFI_FinalReport_GLFTProgramEval_Submitted.pdf
Teacher Training Presentation
View - 2016_VP_Training_Presentation_GLFT_VP_April_15_2016_FINAL_for_distrib.ppt
Student Presentation
View - VP_Fall_Presentation_Students_2016_Draft.ppt
Vernal Pool Types Handout
View - Vernal_Pool_Types_Handout_K-12_04-03-16.pdf
Vernal Pool Patrol Manual for Citizen Scientists
View - VPPManualForCitizenScientists.pdf