Fall in the Field: Explore the Monument

Students in grades kindergarten through 12 traveled to the monument's Greensprings Loop Trail and the Hobart Bluff Trail. Along the way, they learned about the monument's biological diversity through hands-on activities developed by graduate students at Southern Oregon University's Masters in Science Environmental Education program. Fall in the Field is the capstone work of the graduate students.

"Thanks to SOU Fall in the Field program, kids from all over the Rogue Valley visited the monument since early September. Congratulations on a job very well done!" said Christine Beekman, BLM Interpretive Specialist.  

The year's Fall in the Field theme allowed students of various grade levels to explore interdependent relationships in ecosystems and to discover the unique biodiversity that makes the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument such a special place.

Nine classes (grades kindergarten - 2) explored and observed the range of habitats at the monument. They discovered how unique habitat influences species diversity.

Twenty-eight classes (grades 3 - 5) explored important interdependent relationships on the monument by solving Nature's Mysteries as they hiked on the Pacific Crest Trail. From dissecting speckled oak galls to becoming a pileated woodpecker, students were immersed in the monument's diverse life.

Four classes (grades 6-8) used data collection methods to discover how abiotic and biotic factors influence ecosystems. On one trail, they were able to identify 4 different ecosystems and examine how this influences the biodiversity at the monument.

Students (grades 9-12) used data collection methods to explore the issues of land-use debates and conservation of resources. In a role as a rancher, a wildlife biologist, or a forester, students were challenged to develop their own land ethic as they learned about biodiversity in the Cascade-Siskiyou bioregion.

We served a total of about 1,100 students plus teachers and chaperones during this year's Fall in the Field program!

Story by
Rebekah Campbell, Fall-in-the-Field  
SOU Environmental Education graduate student

Photos by Christine Beekman, BLM Medford Office