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In this field activity, students document examine the role of a tree in its ecosystem and as part of the environment in a human community. Students measure the tree's dimensions, examine co-residing organisms, leaf litter, and soil, and research the tree's history, using interviews or archival resources. A measuring stick, sturdy string, and an outdoor thermometer are required. An art project concludes the exploration. This activity is supported by a textbook chapter, "A History of Forest use in the Pacific Northwest,” part of the unit, A New World View, in Global Systems Science (GSS), an interdisciplinary course for high school students that emphasizes how scientists from a wide variety of fields work together to understand significant problems of global impact.
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