Dragonfly Detectives

Dragonfly Detectives at Prairie Ridge!

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Our Spring session at Prairie Ridge is under way!  For the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to teach an amazing group of 4th and 5th graders that are participating in the Dragonfly Detectives program.

The students have been collecting data for two citizen science programs.  One is the Dragonfly Detectives project.  For this project, the students record weather information such as temperature, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, and barometric pressure, then count the number of flights Common Whitetail dragonflies make in a 5 minute time frame.

Common Whitetail

Common Whitetail

A Common Whitetail perched

A Common Whitetail perched. Can you see it?

The students observing Whitetail dragonflies

The students observing Whitetail dragonflies

The students have also been collecting data for the Dragonfly Pond Watch citizen science program.  They are counting how many of four target species, the Common Green Darner, Black Saddlebags, Wandering Glider, and Spot-winged Glider, they see. This helps the Migratory Dragonfly Partnership monitor dragonfly migration.

Students counting migratory dragonflies

Students counting migratory dragonflies

The students haven’t only been collecting data–they have also been participating in fun, educational activities!  They had a great time pond dipping to find aquatic insects, catching dragonflies with their nets, and observing the natural world around them.

catching dragonflies

Catching dragonflies!

This is a Whitetail one of the students caught. We marked its wings to be able to identify it later.

This is a Whitetail one of the students caught. We marked its wings to be able to identify it later.

Observing dragonfly behavior

Observing dragonfly behavior

The session isn’t over yet!  More pics and updates to come!

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