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An Assessment of the Role Urban Trees Play in Modifying Weather in a City Park

Organization(s):Crestwood High School
Student(s):Mohamedhussin Najaf, Zaher Damen, Anas Saleh
Grade Level:Secondary School (grades 9-12, ages 14-18)
GLOBE Teacher:Diana Rae Johns
Report Type(s):International Virtual Science Symposium Report, U.S. Student Research Symposia (SRS)
Protocols:Air Temperature, Barometric Pressure, Relative Humidity, Surface Temperature, Wind, Biometry (including Tree Height)
Presentation Poster: View Document
Optional Badges:Be a Data Scientist, Be a STEM Professional
Date Submitted:03/10/2020
Using A Clinometer
To assess the role trees play in modifying microclimates, an investigation was developed to measure the size (height and DBH) of over 120 trees at a park in Dearborn, Michigan. With the help of a professional forester, trees were identified by names for future research. The GLOBE Observer App helped to collect and submit the data. In addition, two PASCO weather stations helped to determine how trees modified selective weather parameters like wind speed, temperature, and relative humidity of two different sites in Levagood Park. Site 1 was an area centered among a group of trees, while Site 2 was in an open short grass field without surrounding trees. Students would go to the sites, place their devices, and begin recording simultaneously for approximately 15 minutes. The data was then used to make graphs for comparing the two data sets. After analyzing the data, multiple correlations were found between them. We found several similarities and differences between the two sites. Although the data was collected during the winter with no leaves on trees, we hope to continue our research during the active growing season of 2020 to compare the effects with leaves to the data collected in the winter.


You performed a very nice exploration into the effects of trees on an array of meteorological variables. The comparison between contrasting sites is a solid approach. Eventually expanding from only six data points in time to a larger representation of the annual cycle will be insightful. I noticed that the warming effect in March at site 1 is limited to March 4-5. Was there anything unique about those days, such as cloud cover? Why do you think the distant sidewalk had more of an effect on site 1’s temperature than the forest canopy trapping in heat? Keep up the good work.
From Dr. Dixon Butler ( You certainly did much work on this project. The differences in wind speed do not appear to be related to the presence of trees as the wind speeds are not consistently greater in either location. If you were to repeat this investigation what improvements in site characteristics would you seek?
From Dr. Lin Chambers ( Very interesting project. It looks like the trees in this park are pretty limited, and that the foliage is not all the way to the ground. It would be interesting to try this project in a place that has more trees, or more substantial vegetation cover. There must be some limited amount of vegetation required before you will see much impact.
I also think summer - when shade really matters - would be an interesting season to study.
Nice poster!
Zaher, Mohamedhussin, and Anas -

I'm Shan Zuidema, a Research Scientist and PhD candidate at the University of New Hampshire. I use computer simulation models to see how humans and watersheds interact - how we rely on water resources and how we can alter and contaminate water bodies such as aquifers and rivers.

Thank you sharing your work on the microclimate effects of trees in an urban park. I liked how you are chosing a clear hypothesis, and making a straightforward clear paired study. Your graphs really clear illustrate your findings. Since you measured meteorologic variables in the winter and spring, do you think you captured the full effect of trees on micro-climate in your study area? You mention you'd like to extend the study to different times of the year. Can you hypothesize how the presence of leaves might affect some or all of the meteorologic variables you measured? This could be a good thing to put in a discussion to mak the reader more excited for future research. What types of trees were in the park? I noticed you mentioned measurements of tree height and DBH. It would be good to tie those measurements into the hypothesis that you are testing.