Categories
Earth Science

How to Measure Tree Height: a real-world application of trigonometry and step-by-step guide to make your own inclinometer!

I don’t know about you, but I think math is a lot more interesting when we can apply it to real-world situations! If you’re studying trigonometry, right triangles, or angles, tree height measurements are the perfect applied math activity! In this simple activity you can create your own inclinometer – a device for measuring angle […]

Categories
Amazing Wildlife Sustainability and Conservation

Aquatic Insects: identification, examples, and use as bioindicators

If you flip over a few rocks in the shallow water at any healthy pond or stream, you’re sure to see a few aquatic insects! Many aquatic insects are the larvae or nymphs of well-known flying insects, like dragonflies and mayflies! They begin their lives in the water, then emerge from the surface of the […]

Categories
Sustainability and Conservation

Aquatic Ecosystems: How to tell if a pond, stream, or wetland is healthy

This is part 2 of a two-part post on aquatic ecosystems. If you haven’t already, check out part 1! In a rush? Click here to go straight to the printable scavenger hunt! In my last post, I shared my experience working as a science technician studying aquatic ecosystems like streams, ponds, and wetlands. These water […]

Categories
Ecology

The Heart of an Ecosystem: Healthy ponds, streams, and wetlands

In a rush? Click here to go straight to the printable journaling page for kids! This week, my students and I took a field trip to a local creek. Getting outside to make observations in nature is one of my favorite hands-on ways to learn about science and the natural world! Ponds, creeks, and wetlands […]

Categories
Earth Science

The Water Cycle: How it works, a simple and detailed explanation with definitions, diagrams, and a visualization activity!

Author’s note: As a master’s student who works with water, this one is an exciting topic for me to write about! Water is a vital resource that needs careful management in the Mountain West region of the United States. Mountain region watersheds are expected to face climate change-related challenges due to decreasing winter snowpack, changing […]

Categories
General

An Invitation

Welcome fellow nature lovers and outdoor adventurers. Welcome backyard naturalists, kitchen table scientists, life-long learners. Welcome fellow wonderers and wanderers. I’m glad to see you here. My name is Valerie and I’m a scientist, artist, and avid outdoors woman currently in Colorado, USA. My curiosity about the natural world started at a young age, exploring […]