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Schoolyard Teacher Wins State Award

May 28, 2013
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Lise LeTellier environmental education award

Harvard Forest Schoolyard Ecology teacher Lise LeTellier was honored this month at the Massachusetts State House with a first-place award for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education.

Each year, LeTellier, a science teacher and head of the science department at Holyoke Catholic High School, leads 70+ students in hands-on Schoolyard Ecology studies in collaboration with the Harvard Forest. In a wooded area near their campus, LeTellier's students collect field data on the timing of leaf drop in the fall and bud burst in the spring as part of the Buds, Leaves, and Global Warming study. They monitor the spread of the invasive pest, the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, as part of the Woolly Bully study. Like all Schoolyard teachers, LeTellier benefits from direct collaboration with Harvard Forest ecologists. John O'Keefe trains teachers on the Buds, Leaves, and Global Warming study, and David Orwig leads the Woolly Bully study. 

LeTellier has also tackled the challenging work of data analysis with her students. Through a series of Schoolyard workshops, she is mastering the skills of organizing, graphing, and interpreting ecological data. With this knowledge, she guides her own students to graph and interpret the Schoolyard data they've collected in the field.

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