Hi! My name is Ms. Hoskins. Please join me while I travel to Maryland to study Climate Change and Fragmented Forests!

Sunday, December 6, 2009


On my last day in Maryland it snowed. I love to see snow on forest trees and to walk when it is snowing. Snow sounds so amazing when it hits the ground or the trees. However, the people I met in Maryland told me snow isn't so pretty after cars drive through it (it gets a nasty brown color).

Out on Hog Island there are several plant experiments the scientists are currently conducting. The netting over the experiments is too keep out the deer. There are several orchid varities indigenous to Maryland they are studying and they are also studying how these orchids are doing as invasive species of grasses, vines, and bushes invade the area.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Honorary Generals

"Dr." Nancy Khan and "Dr." Jeff Lombardo worked with me all week ensuring I understood all the experiments and explaining to me how the experiments work. They are wonderful to walk in the forest with as they can point out the name of every tree, bush, and plant and they know numerous interesting stories about the plants and trees in the forest. Nancy has a degree in Environmental Studies (major in Natural Resource Management with an emphasis in Plant Ecology) and Jeff has a degree in Forest Biology and a Masters Degree in Ecology. Nancy has worked at the National Park Services and Jeff has worked at Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii. A big shout out to our two new honorary Generals and a big thanks for all the time you spent this week enriching the lives of my students with your willingness to share your knowledge with me and my students.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The "Invasives"

Watch the video to understand about invasive plants and the threat they pose to the forest here in Maryland.

1. Next research what invasive plants are found near the Gulf Coast of Texas.

2. How did they get there? What are they a threat to in our area?

3. What is being done to get rid of the invasives?

This "green" bus does not use gasoline. What might make the bus run? If you guessed it was an electric run bus, you would be incorrect. Think again, what other sources of power could be harnessed to run this bus? (Yes, I rode on the bus and it was fun).

Christmas Holly

Today on my way to Hog Island, I saw dozens of holly trees. The largest one was twice my height and about ten feet in diameter. The leaves are waxy and pointy and red berries covered the tree. Your assignment is to research whether or not this tree can be found in Texas, and if it can live in Texas; where it can be found.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I Completed the Biggest Challenge!


Biggest Challenge Part Two


Biggest Challenge!


Look at the picture on the left. This is a map of the grid work we have been doing. Each square is 10 meters by 10 meters. There are 100 squares. What math formula would you use to figure out the total area?

Based on the picture above, can you try to calculate the circumference of the tree? The diameter?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009



Into the Swamp


Finished Map of the Forest Floor


Math and Science go Together

This short video clip will show how scientists map out the forest floor utilizing X and Y coordinates.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I'd Rather eat Crabs Than Hold Them


Poison Ivy Video

I had no idea poison ivy grew in huge thick, hairy vines up trees! This stuff is everywhere. I also learned poison ivy is an oil that can live on your shoes for a year (and still cause a rash if you or anyone touches it). Has anyone every had poison ivy?

I have a new goal: to not get poison ivy.


Look for the White Trees

Today I learned that if I get lost in the forest, I should look for the white trees (see picture right). Can you spot the two white trees in the middle of the picture? Those trees are Sycamore Trees and they always grow along streams and rivers. Once I find the stream or river, I can then work my way back to the research facility (at least in theory)!

If I were to pick all of you up and put you in the forest, what clues would you look for to find your way out of the forest?