Hi! My name is Ms. Ziemke. Please join me as I travel to New Orleans to study climate change. Check my website at www.tinyurl.com/burley106

Monday, October 26, 2009

My First Day in the Swamp

Hi Friends! Please check my website for more photos and info by clicking here.
Think about the questions in bold. I will answer them when I Skype 106 on Wednesday.

Often in nature there is a delicate balance between living things. Animals work together to build communities, find food and reproduce. They interact each day and act as predators or prey. As scientists study the change in climate, many people worry that significant weather events, like hurricanes, may effect the delicate balance between living things. The purpose of this Earthwatch research is to identify if climate change, specifically Hurricane Katrina, impacted the caterpillar population in the Louisiana bayou.

Can you think of an animal that depends on another animal?
Scientists have hypothesized, or made a "best guess," that Hurricane Katrina has reduced the number of caterpillar predators, or parasitoids. As a result, there are less animals or diseases killing caterpillars and the number of caterpillars are increasing.

Do you think an increase in caterpillars is good or bad? Why?

Today I engaged in research for the first time! I traveled to the Honey Island Swamp with the research team (7 teachers and 3 scientists). We hiked through the swamp and plotted out a section of land that is 10 meters by 10 meters, or about the same size as our classroom. We used bright orange tape to mark the plot section and then identified all the trees in the plot.
Next, we counted the leaves on the bottom branches of the trees to determine an "estimate" of the total number of leaves in the plot. Guess what? We counted by 5's and 10's just like we do in 106! Finally, we examined the leaves to check for caterpillars.

Today I saw many caterpillars, spiders and mosquitos. I have not seen an alligator yet, but I hope to see one soon!

Griffin, Cameron, Dylan, Alex, Elizabeth and 208 thank you for all your questions and comments! To answer a few of them quickly...

*The swamp is so cool! It is very different from Chicago. There is water everywhere, lots of bugs and Spanish moss hanging from all the trees.
*There was a big hurricane here called Hurricane Katrina in 2005. I will try to post a link tomorrow that teaches you more about the hurricane.
*The other teachers are very nice; 1 boy and 6 girls.



At October 27, 2009 at 8:45 AM , Anonymous Rachel said...

sorry you got sick. I hope you have a fantastic day at the swamp!



At October 27, 2009 at 9:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Room 104 was visiting your site and are very excited for you! We have a few questions after reading your information...
1. How many different types of caterpillars have you found? Are any poisonous?
2. How deep is the swamp?
3. What other interesting animals have you ran into?

At October 27, 2009 at 8:51 PM , Blogger Mr. Cantor said...

Ms. ZF, you are the coolest, most excellent teacher. I have a question. Are any of the caterpillars larvae of migratory butterflies like monarchs?

Have a great trip and bring lots of great photos back to Burley.

-- Phil Dworkin-Cantor (father of Ari, Moey and Dasha)

At October 27, 2009 at 9:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are so sorry that you've been sick, and hope you continue to feel better. Are you getting lots of mosquito bites? - The Jungels Family

At October 28, 2009 at 8:20 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear miss zf sory that you got sick wat gams are you plaing have a good time in the swamp


At October 28, 2009 at 9:22 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear ms zf sorry that you got sick on your trip are you having a good time did you see
animals on the trip and what was the habitat
i wish that i code be with you on the trip
didit ran on the trip did you get masceto bits
on the trip how deep was the swap

love katie


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