Lesson Plan

Tree Phenology Monitoring (High School)

ranger with high school students
A park ranger assists two high school in collecting tree phenology data as part of a field trip exploring climate change impacts in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

NPS Photo - Susan Sachs

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Grade Level:
Ninth Grade-College Undergraduate Level
phenology monitoring, scientific method, climate change effects, data analysis, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, long-term monitoring


Great Smoky Mountains National Park is using phenology, the study of biological events that change in response to their environment, to investigate the changing climate. This unit is broken into three parts. The overall unit involves a trip to the park and is accompanied by two preparation activities and two wrap-up activities.


1) Describe the difference between climate and weather
2) Improve understanding of phenology
3) Graph data sets and interpret graphs

Last updated: April 14, 2015