Microclimates on Blackhawk Island

Explore the concepts of aspect and microclimate on a trek across the island!

Paddle a barge to our 210 acre island to explore the concepts of aspect (which direction a hill faces with respect to the sun) and microclimate (climate of a very small area that differs from the surrounding climate). Students will use the tools of forestry and meteorology to measure habitat characteristics (temperature, wind speed, and percent cover) to answer the Essential Question, “How are the habitats on the north and south sides of Blackhawk Island different?” All equipment and Lab Data Sheets (Standards Based Grading system for Science Cross Cutting Concept Standard 9. Interpret cause and effect relationships (HSSCI9)) are provided. All participants MUST wear closed-toed shoes (no sandals). This class is subject to cancellation due to weather events.

Available April – October.

Length: 2.5 hours

Suggested Maximum Participants: 20 per facilitator.  Barge capacity = 42 (2 groups possible)

Accessibility notes: On this barge, only 12 individuals can paddle at a time, so individuals who are unable to paddle are still able to ride. If individuals are concerned about sitting on the barge, we can provide seats with backrests or individuals can be held in place by other participants. Trail descriptions can be found on our accessibility page so that individuals can determine their ability to hike on the island. At this time the island is not wheelchair accessible.

Multiple sizes of type II and type III PFD’s are available to accommodate a variety of body types. Our smallest life jacket is for children for 30-50 lbs, so if participants are smaller than this, they will need to provide their own PFD.

Microclimates on Blackhawk Island Lesson Plan