Learning Module

Project Hemlock Woolly Adelgid: Just do it!

Get involved in the effort to monitor and manage the spread of a forest pest that is threatening our hemlock forests. This guide is intended to support you in getting your learning community to contribute to a community science investigation.


Learning Outcomes

  • Describe how hemlock woolly adelgid threatens hemlock forests and how climate change might play a role in its spread
  • Carry out protocols accurately and with confidence
  • Contribute accurate and meaningful data to support ongoing hemlock woolly adelgid control efforts

3-4  ·  5-8

Learning Space
Outdoor  ·  Classroom

Data can be collected from hemlock trees in any area of Maine, New Hampshire, or Massachusetts, at any time of year. If you do not know where to find hemlock trees in your community, consult with a local land trust, foresters, master naturalists, and forest and tree enthusiasts that you know.

To determine whether or not hemlock woolly adelgid is present at a site, the Maine Forest Service surveys 10 branches on 10 different trees. Ideally, we would like to have 10 trees surveyed at each location where you and your learners collect data, though we know this is not always possible.

The only recommended equipment is a device for taking photos, a notebook, and pencil. A hand lens could be useful, too. If you do not have access to cameras, contributors can submit a sketch instead.

Lesson 1: Something is killing hemlock trees...

Introduce the problem of hemlock woolly adelgid with a short video, modeling game, and discussion.

Facilitator guide | Student pages | Slides | Region cards | Dispersal cards

Lesson 2: How will we know HWA when we see it?

Learners practice identification 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 | Student pages | Slides | Detailed protocol and ID resources | Fieldwork skills stations | HWA Kahoot!

Lesson 3: Go out and collect data!

Fieldwork teams look for hemlocks and hemlock woolly adelgid and record data on what they do or do not find.

Facilitator guide | Detailed protocol and ID resources

Lesson 4: Share what you found (or did not find)

Teams submit their data to the Ecosystem Investigation Network and share observations from the field.

Facilitator guide | Student Pages | Slides | Data entry page | Screencast: set up a trip | Screencast: get passphrases | HWA discussion forum