Dating an Alien

In this exercise, developed by Marjorie Porter of the Somers school system, students assemble information on non-native plant species, investigating how they have increased in frequency in Connecticut and why they are ecologically important.

PART I: Exotic Invaders

According to the National Park Service web site, “Weeds Gone Wild” are invasive species that:

Discuss the following questions with your team and be prepared to present to the class:

     1.  How would an alien plant species get to Connecticut in the first place?

     2. How would an alien plant interfere with the existing ecosystem? In other words, what problems could it cause?

     3. What factors do you think might allow an invasive plant species to push out other plant species? What characteristics of the invasive plant and/or the existing ecosystem could allow this to happen?

     4. Visit the National Park Service’s “Weeds Gone Wild” Web site to better understand the problem of “invasives”:

PART II: An Alien of Your Own

Examples of covers done by others:


PART III: The First Date!
By doing this you can view ALL of the records for your plant that are on the map. Make sure that you only record the information for those that are in Connecticut.