Pictured above: Ms. Greenleaf, on the far left, with her Corrales Elementary School 5th graders on a BEMP Study Trip
On October 2nd, 2017 Ms. Greenleaf’s 5th grade class from Corrales Elementary School came to Bosque School to do a Study Trip with BEMP. Ms. Linda Greenleaf (formerly Linda Pierce) is a BEMP alumna herself! She started “BEMPin” back when she was in 6th grade with Mr. Shaw at Bosque School. We were so thrilled to see Ms. Greenleaf’s BEMP experience come full-circle. She said: “If I could only go back in time to tell my 6th grade self how much I would use the knowledge and concepts that I learned from Mr. Shaw… in 2002!”
During fall and spring season, BEMP hosts several Study Trips, or 1-day bosque learning adventures. School groups from around Albuquerque, join BEMP educators for a fun-filled day of education in the bosque. We start our day with a food web involving cottonwoods, insects, birds, and lizards in the bosque to show how the seasonal changes of cottonwoods impact a whole host of other species! Each student gets to participate as a bosque character, holding onto a string that gets passed up and down the food chain. Next we set out into the bosque to actually monitoring 6 cottonwoods at 2 of our BEMP sites. We’ve been monitoring these same 6 trees since 2015 to track their phenology or the seasonal changes and the timing of those changes. We do this through the Nature’s Notebook app on our smartphones. We do the monitoring of the trees together and then “beam the data directly to the scientists” over at the National Phenology Network of the University of Arizona. We’re seeing shifting patterns related to when leaves are changing to golden brown and when leaves are falling off the trees. For more info – check out the Rio Grande Phenology Trail – a partner organization at BEMP.
We wrap up the Study Trip, with a picnic by the Rio, some porcupine glimpsing through the leaves, and a quick beep of the wells at the BEMP sites to see how deep the ground water is on a given day. We then analyze our phenology data back in the classroom and do nature sketches of some of the cool artifacts we find in the bosque.