The middle school students at The Renaissance International School got a little taste of the biodiversity that is in their backyard. We drove over to Mt. Diablo to meet with Erica Newman, a graduate student at UC Berkeley who studies fire ecology and explores how climate change may be impacting biodiversity. With Erica’s guidance, students were able to see the abrupt transitions between ecosystems that are characteristic of California (and that set California aside from other places).
 
It was amazing to see how one could practically trace a line between the chaparral and oak scrub communities!
ChaparralAndOakScrub
 
 
Throughout the day, we discussed different aspects of fire ecology, evolution, biodiversity, the three main areas of ecology (population, community and ecosystem), and much more!
 
MontessoriMiddleSchool Mt.Diablo
 
 
Students were fascinated to hear about the Age of Fungi, when giant fungi dominated the planet and thought it was interesting that it is not better known.
 
Students definitely enjoyed the opportunity to get out and see these things for themselves. One of the students commented that going out and seeing things first-hand results in her actually being able to retain them long-term.