Learning Module

Project Knotweed - Just do it!

Get involved in a research project aimed at understanding and and managing the spread of invasive knotweed. This guide is intended to support you in getting your learning community to contribute to a citizen science investigation.


Learning Outcomes

  • Describe how knotweed threatens native plants
  • Carry out protocols accurately and with confidence
  • Contribute accurate and meaningful data to support ongoing Knotweed management efforts

Time Estimate
4 to 10 class periods


Learning Space
Outdoor  ·  Classroom

You will need to identify a field side with a patch of knotweed before you start the investigation. Knotweed is commonly found around roadsides, riverbanks, and in other sunny, developed areas. If you need help locating a patch, reach out to Meggie at [email protected] The best time to collect data is September through November when knotweed is flowering.

Protocols must be followed for contribution to the citizen science project. Review protocols and required equipment and materials on the project landing page.

The only recommended equipment is a device for taking photos, a notebook, pencil, 1-meter squared quadrat, and a transect. Quadrats can be made with a 4m length of rope. Have fieldwork teams set the rope in the approximate shape of a square with the ends touching in the knotweed patch to create a one meter squared area. Any metric measuring tape can be used for a transect, or you can use a rope with masking tape marking each meter.

Lesson 1: Plant invasion!!

Introduce learners to the problem of knotweed with a short video introduction with our project leader, modeling game, and discussion.

Facilitator Guide | Contributor Pages | Project Knotweed Page | Slides

Lesson 2: Get ready for fieldwork

Learners practice fieldwork skills at interactive stations. If time permits, they can reinforce their identification and knowledge of the protocol with the online quiz game, Kahoot! and by going over the protocol in fieldwork teams.

Facilitator Guide | Contributor Pages | Protocol and ID resources | Fieldwork Skills Stations | Knotweed kahoot!

Lesson 3: Go out and collect data!

Fieldwork teams collect data from a knotweed patch in their area.

Facilitator Guide | Project Knotweed Detailed Protocol

Lesson 4: Share what you found

Teams submit their data to the Ecosystem Investigation Network and share observations with the community.

Facilitator Guide | Contributor Pages | Slides | Data entry page | Screencast: set up a trip | Screencast: find passphrases | Project Knotweed Discussion Forum