Welcome to Aroostook Team Science.  We have an exciting year ahead filled with new learning.
  Subject matter covered over the course of the year will be life science, primarily Biology, Ecology and Biodiversity.  In addition there are many other standards that involve investigative science and the scientific process that will be covered.

On the Aroostook team, standards are covered by doing real science.  There is a lot of place-based learning and inquiry throughout the year.  Our school campus is a learning center and we spend many class periods throughout the year outdoors doing field work.  We have established lofty goals, one of which is trying to identify all the organisms on our school campus.  We have successfully identified a host of plants and other organisms in past years and will be working on adding to this data base.  We are also searching for and monitoring invasive species on campus as well.  This real science is the basis for learning concepts and content in Biology, Ecology and Biodiversity.  


I am proud to bea part of SPARTACUS, which is a National Science Foundation program out of the University of New England's Marine Science Center.  This program provides training,  equipment, support and even a graduate scientist researcher in the classroom 2 full  days per week.  We will have a real scientist/researcher in our classroom who will do some teaching, provide assistance and guidance during investigations, share their own research questions and their latest findings as well as tie in present research to the various topics we cover throughout the year.  This will be my forth year as part of the SPARTACUS program and it has given students and myself an outstanding opportunity to learn about science with a real scientist.  

The other program we will be very involved in is Vital Signs, which is a Gulf of Maine Research Institute program that provides training, support and equipment to do outdoor investigations.  The Vital Signs program was created to help develop citizen scientists to assist researchers locate and monitor invasive species throughout the state.  I am proud to say that Aroostook Team Science is by far the most active contributor to the website, assisting scientist in their work with invasive species.  In addition to monitoring where invasive species are, it is as important for the scientists at Vital Signs to know where invasive species are not.  The Vital Signs site is also the primary site we use to confirm our identification findings on campus, as they also confirm the identifications of native species as well.  We have positively identified two invasive species on campus, Lythrum salicaria (Purple Loosestrife) and (Popillia japonica (Japanese Beetle) and a non native insect (Galerucella) so far on campus.  We will be monitoring the campus for the spread of these species and monitoring their effects on biodiversity.  We will also be on the lookout for other invasive species that may be present.  Student work can be viewed on the Vital Signs website.  

Check our our missions on Vital Signs

http://vitalsignsme.org/mission-massabesic            http://vitalsignsme.org/mission-hungry-beetles

There is no better way for students to learn science then being engages and involved in authenitic science, all with the help of real scientists.   I am proud of the Aroostook Team Science accomplishments so far and am excited about the work that lies ahead.  There certainly is a lot to do.


Signs of the Season, New England Phenology Program:


Signs of the Season is a University of Maine initiative that recruits citizen scientists to monitor common species over the course of the year to document possible changes in these organisms over time due to global climate change.  


SeaPerch:     http://www.seaperch.org/index

 SeaPerch is an ROV building program.  ROV stands for remotely operated vehicle.  We received a grant last fall for these submarine kits and had Portsmouth Naval Shipyard grant even more.   Over 35 students participated during and after school.  The build included tools and assistance from volunteer engineers from Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.  We hope to build more and continue engineering these ROVs to search for invasive aquatic plants.

New England Cottontail Survey:  


We hope to once again assist in the York County Soil and Water Conservation District survey of New England Cottontail, an endangered species in Maine that is being considered for Federal endangered species status.  The data collected is being used as part of the data required for possible Federal Endangered Species status.  We hope to get out there again this winter to do more surveying of areas that are historical New England Cottontail habitat.

If time allows in the spring, we hope to raise Galerucella, a non native beetle used to control invasive Purple loosestrife, on campus and release the beetles in a local area that has loosestrife growing.

7th Grade Learning Targets

Life Science: Biodiversity and Evolution

•Understands how structural evidence is used to determine kinship among  organisms and the identification of species.

•Understands how variations in the behavior and traits of an offspring may permit some of them to survive a changing environment.

•Understands why some organisms that once lived on Earth have completely disappeared.
•Understands how some extinct organisms are similar to organisms living on Earth today.

Life Science: Cells and Organisms

•Understands the difference between multi-cellular and unicellular organism.

•Understands specialized cells perform specialized functions in multi-cellular organisms.

•Understands the functions of organelles in plant and animal cells (e.g., mitochondria, cell membrane, nucleus, etc.)

Life Science: Environmental Science

•Understands ways in which organisms interact within an ecosystem

•Understands the importance of biodiversity.  Understands the effects of invasive species on biodiversity.

•Understands how changes in an organism’s habitat (e.g, floods, fires, climate change, human impact, invasive species)and population size can influence the survival of a population.
•Understands ecosystems have limited resources to support populations (carrying capacity).

•Understands how the carbon cycle is impacted by natural and human changes that could contribute to global warming.

Life Science: Heredity and Reproduction

•Understands the effects of sexual and asexual reproduction on the traits of the offspring.

•Understands simple patterns of inheritance in determining genotype and phenotype.


Fprest Trees of Maine










Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation:


Natural Resources Conservation Service:

http://plant‐ materials.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/plantid/woodies/broadleaf.html

UConn plant data base


UMass Extension Weed herbarium:

 http://www.umassgreeninfo.org/fact_sheets/weed_herbarium/common_name_list. htm

Virginia Tech Dichotomous/Multichotomous Keys:


Cornell Trees and Shrubs:


Plant Leaf Identification

http://www.ehow.com/about_5387202_plant‐leaf‐ identification.html?ref=trojan&utm_source=google&utm_medium=home_search



Virginia Trees


winter tree identification