Linda Rauch, a National Board Certified Kindergarten teacher at Roscomare Road School in Los Angeles joined an Earthwatch research team for a 10-day expedition in Ecuador to help scientists understand how caterpillars and parasites interact and are affected by climate change. Linda’s expedition was funded by the Grousbeck foundation.
From July 20th to July 30th, Linda joined 10 other Earthwatch volunteers from the United States for “Climate Change and Caterpillars in Ecuador” project. Dr. Tom Walla of Mesa University in Colorado and Dr. Lee Dyer from the University of Reno in Nevada led the research team.
“What I found most interesting was the connection behind the host plants, the caterpillars and the parasites. I did not realize how important the parasites were in keeping the caterpillar population down and how climate change is affecting that balance. I also learned about the chemical changes that take place between the host plants and caterpillars. I know that my students will be excited to learn about this and see actual photos. What I really found inspiring was how our scientists were able to put in perspective how climate change is affecting us. I always thought of it in a larger sense, but we are just one aspect that is being affected by this change. I am looking forward to sharing my experience with my students, fellow teachers and the school community”
Earthwatch (www.earthwatch.org), the world’s largest environmental nonprofit volunteer organization, is based in Metro Boston. Its mission is to engage people worldwide in scientific field research and education to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment.