Protocol

Select a Carbon Cycle Site. Determine if your site is STANDARD (accessible area of at least 225m2 of contiguous vegetation ) or NON-STANDARD (an area with some vegetation and some human interference, i.e. a local park, city block, or the school area itself). *This protocol can be done with or without student involvement.

B. Carbon Cycle Activity and Protocol Flow Charts

Use these clickable flowcharts to decide the best way to use the Carbon Cycle materials in your classroom.

STANDARD Flow Chart (pdf)               NON-STANDARD Flow Chart (pdf)

Students learn necessary skills and work in teams to set-up a STANDARD SITE. Determine which vegetation types you will measure at your site. Use the Protocol Decision Tree (pdf) to help make this determination.
Students learn necessary skills and work in teams to set-up a NON-STANDARD SITE. Determine which vegetation types you will measure at your site. Use the Protocol Decision Tree (pdf) to help make this determination.
Students map the location of each tree in a STANDARD sample site. *Mapping only needs to be completed once per Carbon Cycle Site. *Can be done in conjunction with the STANDARD Tree Circumference Protocol.
Students map the location of each tree in a NON-STANDARD sample site. *Mapping only needs to be completed once per Carbon Cycle Site. *Can be done in conjunction with NON-STANDARD Tree Circumference Protocol.
Measure circumference at breast height (CBH) for all mapped trees greater than 15 cm CBH on a STANDARD site. *Can be done in conjunction with Tree Mapping, Shrub/Sapling, and Herbaceous STANDARD Protocols.
Measure circumference at breast height (CBH) for all mapped trees greater than 15 cm CBH on a NON-STANDARD site. *Can be done in conjunction with Tree Mapping, Shrub/Sapling, and Herbaceous NON-STANDARD Protocols.
Measure shrub and sapling average height and percent cover on a STANDARD site. *Can be done in conjunction with Tree and Herbaceous STANDARD Protocols.
Measure shrub and sapling average height and percent cover on a NON-STANDARD site. *Can be done in conjunction with Tree and Herbaceous NON-STANDARD Protocols.
Collect a random sample of herbaceous vegetation on a STANDARD SITE, and dry it in paper bags or a drying oven to measure biomass. *Can be done in conjunction with Tree and Shrub/Sapling STANDARD Protocols.
Collect a random sample of herbaceous vegetation on a NON-STANDARD SITE, and dry it in paper bags or a drying oven to measure biomass. *Can be done in conjunction with Tree and Shrub/Sapling NON-STANDARD Protocols.

Supporting Protocols

Protocols to help in completion of the main protocol
Students explore the relationship between circumference and diameter, learn that circumference is measured at 1.35 m from the tree base, and how to accurately measure trees in the field.
Share your Biomass and Carbon data with the GLOBE community. When you submit your data through GLOBE, the calculations to convert your raw data to biomass and carbon storage values will be completed for you.

Data Analysis Supporting Protocols

Tree Biomass and Carbon Analysis (pdf)
Students observe and understand patterns and trends in their tree field measurement data.
        Enhancement Materials:        Carbon & Biomass Data Example (xls)

Shrub&Sapling Biomass and Carbon Analysis (pdf)
Students observe and understand patterns and trends in their shrub/sapling field measurement data.
        Enhancement Materials:         Carbon & Biomass Data Example (xls)

Herbaceous Biomass and Carbon Analysis (pdf)
Students observe and understand patterns and trends in their herbaceous field measurement data.

Determining Scale and Calculating Area (pdf)
Use an aerial photo/map to scale your sample site carbon measurements to larger areas of similar vegetation.

Carbon in Humans vs. Trees (pdf)
Use a back-of-the-envelope calculation or spreadsheet equations to determine whether more carbon is stored in humans or trees.
        Enhancement Materials:        Human Vs. Tree C Spreadsheet (xls)

Net Primary Productivity (pdf)
Understand the change in carbon storage over time by calculating Net Primary Productivity (NPP). *Needs multiple years of carbon data*
        Enhancement Materials:         NPP Analysis Spreadsheet (xls)

Field Guides

Step-by-step instructions for collection data according to the protocols.

Data Sheets

Sheets to be filled out during data collection

Learning Activities

Activities to help students learn more about the instruments and protocols
Use this flowchart to help you decide which Introductory Activities are appropriate for your classroom. For more information, see the Carbon Cycle Introduction eTraining (coming soon…).
Introduce students to systems thinking through a classroom simulation, and model a system using the '1-box model'.
        Enhancement Materials:        Paper Clip Simulation Spreadsheet (xls)        Online Model Link
Students follow a carbon atom through the carbon cycle using a choose your own adventure storybook.
        Enhancement Materials:        Carbon Cycle Adventure Story Booklet (pdf)
Students play a dice game to follow a carbon atom as it travels through the Earth's carbon pools.
Students learn the basics of the carbon cycle through diagrams.
  Enhancement Mini-Activities
    Turnover rate and residence time (pdf)
    How big is a petagram? (xls)
    Human Carbon Pool (xls)
    How Much Carbon is Stored in a Pencil? (xls)

Field Learning Activities
Activities that teach important concepts and skills for understanding and conducting Carbon Protocols.
Students learn to use a simple computer model to predict biomass, and carbon storage over time for any geographical biome. Can be done as a stand-alone activity or as a follow-up to conducting Carbon Cycle field measurements.
        Model Materials:        Link to Online Computer Model        Video Tutorial Coming Soon
                                                Example Data Sheet (xls)        Biome Map
Students practice the skill of estimating percent cover.
Students measure their height, arm span, and foot length to show how living organism’s parts are related to the whole. Students use this concept to understand how circumference of trees can be used to estimate biomass.
        Enhancement Materials:        Allometry Example (xls)

Modeling Activities
Computer models (at varying levels of complexity) predict the change in biomass and carbon storage or size of carbon pools and fluxes over time, and give students the opportunity to use an important scientific tool.
Students learn to use a simple computer model to predict biomass, and carbon storage over time for any geographical biome. Can be done as a stand-alone activity or as a follow-up to conducting Carbon Cycle field measurements.
        Model Materials:        Link to Online Computer Model        Video Tutorial
                                                           Example Data Sheet (xls)        Biome Map
Students use the global carbon cycle diagram to make pencil and paper calculations of changes to carbon pools after a few years. They then explore a computer model to look at changes in carbon pools and fluxes over hundreds of years.
        Model Materials:        Link to Online Computer Model
This model builds on the Simple Carbon Cycle Model by including feedbacks in the global carbon cycle that modify the movement of carbon into and out of the atmosphere.
        Model Materials:        Link to Online Computer Model

Plant-A-Plant Classroom Experiments
Hands-on cultivation experiments for the classroom, with options for structured, guided, or open levels of inquiry.

Plant-A-PlantTeacher Guide (pdf)
Materials List (xls)
What Do Plants Need to Grow? (pdf)
Seed Germination Lab Guide (pdf)
Structured Experiment: Light (pdf)

Basic Experiments (Guided Inquiry)
    Temperature (pdf)
    CO2 Decrease (pdf)
    Water (pdf)
    Mineral Nutrients (pdf)

Advanced Experiments (Open Inquiry)
    Photosynthesis (pdf)
    CO2 Increase (pdf)
    Soil Respiration (pdf)
    Mineral Nutrients II (pdf)

Resources

Additional documents or tools related to the protocol
An overview of the major components of the Carbon Cycle Project, including learning goals and objectives.

Teacher Preparation

Carbon Cycle eTrainings
Coming soon - Carbon Cycle Introduction, Standard Site Field Protocols, Non-Standard Site Field Protocols, Carbon Cycle Modeling.

Scientific Inquiry and Research in the Classroom

Introduction to the Global Carbon Cycle

Systems and Models Introduction

NGSS and Standards Correlation Matrix

Curriculum Framing Questions
Examples of Essential, Unit and Content questions for GLOBE Carbon Cycle

Teacher templates
General teaching templates that can be used for formative assessment. Frayer Model, KWL's, etc.

Scientific Process Teacher Guides

Pose Research Questions (pdf)
Develop Investigation Plan (pdf)
Identify New Research Questions (pdf)

Assessment

Field Wrap-up Questions (pdf)
Field Assessment Questions (pdf)

Excel Sheet Data Entry and Biomass Analysis Templates
Entering data into the GLOBE database also performs these functionalities.

Tree Biomass Analysis Template (xls)
Standard Site Shrub Biomass Analysis Template (xls)
Non- Standard Site Shrub Biomass Analysis Template (xls)