Salt Marsh Science Curriculum

Salt Marsh Science:

Is the invasive reed Phragmites spreading in our salt marshes? If yes, how fast is it spreading? What conditions is it growing in? Is it responding to restoration efforts? This curriculum for middle and high school students includes classroom activities, identification sheets and a dichotomous key for identifying salt marsh plants, and data sheets for salt marsh field trips utilizing lessons developed by Kristen Grant and the salt marsh science protocols developed by Dr. Robert Buchsbaum and Dr. David Burdick. Classroom teachers, Carmen Ochoa, Amanda Demetri, worked with Liz Duff to develop the "integrated unit" in 1999. We are pleased to offer you these tried and true methods for studying Phragmites, vegetation, fish and salinity in salt marshes.

The curriculum is broken into smaller units for downloading.
Integrated Unit (PDF 672K)
Field Study (PDF 3.6M)
Field Guide (PDF 1.8M)
Data Book (PDF 2.8M)
Data Book Spanish (PDF 958K)
Social Studies (PDF 381K)
Frameworks Connections (PDF 202K)
Maps (PDF 2.1M)
Phragmites Control Background Information (PDF 417K)

More Resources:
Background Information for Data Analysis (PDF 807K)
Data Analysis Tools (PPTx 4192K)
Outcomes and Assessments (MS Word docx 187K)

The Great Marsh Classroom with Liz Duff and Lori LaFrance
Watch the video
Follow students participating in the PIE-LTER schoolyard “Salt Marsh Science Project” with Mass Audubon Education Coordinator, Liz Duff.  Ipswich High School Students learn about tidal restrictions, which alter the flow of salt and fresh water and have a major effect on the conditions which can favor the growth of the invasive reed Phragmites. Students present their findings at Mass Audubon’s  17th  annual Coastal Science Conference.  Filmed by Rick Hydren of Staddles Productions.

For additional resources related to Mass Audubon’s Salt Marsh Science Project: