Dragonfly Detectives

Collecting Weather Data

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As part of the Dragonfly Detectives citizen science project (learn more about it here), the students gather weather data to determine what types of weather conditions affect flight patterns in the Common Whitetail dragonfly.  They use two types of weather instruments–a Kestrel and a light meter.  With the Kestrel, they record the temperature, wind speed and wind direction, barometric pressure, and relative humidity.

Student using the Kestrel to gather weather data

Student using the Kestrel to gather weather data

With the light meter, they record current light intensity.

Student using the light meter to determine light intensity

Student using the light meter to determine light intensity

After they collect the weather information, they record it on their own data sheets and count the number of Whitetail flights.Students counting Whitetails

Students recording weather data on their data sheets

Students recording weather data on their data sheets

Most of the days the students were outside, the days were sunny and hot. They had one overcast day.

The students hypothesized that sunny days with warm temperatures would be the best weather conditions for dragonfly flights.  According to the data they collected, they were right!  They recorded the most numbers of dragonfly flights on days with high light intensity and temperatures, and the least number of flights on their one overcast day.IMG_0111
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