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Ecology Fair University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

Abstracts from New London Spicer Middle School 2011

New London Spicer Middle School
101 4th Ave SW
New London, MN 56273

Year: 2011
Teacher(s): Laura Molenaar

“Home Sweet Milkweed”

Paris R, Jordan P

We did a citizen science project for the MLMP at Stoney Ridge Farm. We also monitored in Mrs. Molenaar’s garden and noticed a difference in the presence of monarchs, which lead to our question: Does habitat affect the presence of monarchs? For our project, we monitored at Stoney Ridge Farm, Mrs. Molenaar’s garden, and the Mill Pond. At each area, we monitored height of the plant, insects on plant, condition and disease of plant, and number of surrounding milkweeds on 50 different milkweeds. We did it on two different dates, the second one the week after the first date. We found 22 percent of plants with monarchs at Stoney Ridge Farm, 34 percent at the Mill Pond, and 58 percent in Mrs. Molenaar’s garden.


Aphid Abush

Justine N

This summer while monitoring monarchs we noticed many plants with aphids. We wondered if the presence of aphids would affect the health of monarchs. So we set up an investigation raising caterpillars on milkweed wtih aphids, milkweed with monarchs washed off, adn milkweed without aphids. We found that the milkweed with aphids had the highest mortaility.


Aphids, Monarch Killers?!?

Evan V, Kevin W

While monitoring monarchs we observed that not many milkweed plants with aphids had monarchs on them. We wanted to know what the corolation between Monarch colonization and Aphid density was. So we took the data of a around 200 milkweed plants without aphids and as many as we could find of milkweed plants inhabited by Aphids. We found how many monarchs were laid on the plants and took the average to find where monarchs truelly wanted to lay their eggs. We found out that they prefer regular milkweed over milkweed with aphids.


Clean Vs. Dirty

Grace A, Savanna K

This summer we monitored at Stony Ridge farm in New London, Minnesota. Stony Ridge Farm has relatively no human activity. We did our project on monarch mortality. We wondered why we washed our hands at school before handling the monarchs , and we did not wash our hands when we went to Stony Ridge Farm .So we handled the caterpillars with dirty hands ,and with clean hands . It turned out that washing your hands dose make a large effect on monarch mortality .


Effects of Weather Patterns on Monarch Spring Migration

I ahve monitored monarchs in teh field for many summers and have noticed that some years we have a great number of monarchs at our site and other years we have very few. My question is: Is there a correlation between Weather Patterns and Monarch Spring migration paths? I have been using data from Journey North and the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project to help answer my question.


Mini VS Mega (milkweed)

Wyatt A

This summer my team I went to an old shotgun range called Stoney Ridge Farm and monitored milkweed for monarchs over a period of 13 weeks. While monitoring I observed that we had milkweed of varing sizes. I wondered if the size of the milkweed had anything to do with which plants monarchs laid their eggs on. We looked at 100 plants each week and reported our data on the MLMP website. I found that the monarchs were chosing the plants with an average height of 79.8 cm. These were in the middle range of plants observed.


The Oe Mystery

Josh P

The OE mystery was a project that required a lot of field work. I was trying to find OE in my local area. I collected 150+ caterpillars throughout the summer. I raised them to adults with a minimal mortality rate. I tested all the monarchs that lived with scotch tape. I then tagged monarchs if I could. The results showed that I had quite a few infected monarchs compared to the rest of Minnesota. I concluded that we might have had a bad wave of OE this year.


To Mow or Not to Mow?

Ben L, Dillon B

We were monitoring monarchs at Stoney Ridge Farm and noticed that part of the field was mowed. We thought that maybe the monarchs would like the mowed milkweed more than the non-mowed milkweed, since it seemed it was fresher. We monitored both mowed and non-mowed milkweed from the begining of July to the end of August. We were suprised that monarchs seemed to prefer the non-mowed milkweed over the mowed milkweed.


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