Carbon Sequestration in Campus Trees

In this activity, students use a spreadsheet to calculate the net carbon sequestration in a set of trees; they will utilize an allometric approach based upon parameters measured on the individual trees. They determine the species of trees in the set, measure trunk diameter at a particular height, and use the spreadsheet to calculate carbon content of the tree using forestry research data.

Go To:

Robert S. Cole
Spreadsheets Across the Curruculum; Washington Center; Science Education Resource Center (SERC)

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

If this activity is being done for the first time, it will serve as a baseline for future, follow-up projects by other students.

This module is best used when data on a given set of trees are available from prior years, but establishing a solid baseline is important for all scientific measurements.

Assuming that data from field measurements are available to students, this module could be used as a homework exercise, or as a lab exercise. The module is also useful in teaching about how ecologists and biologists use allometric relationships as well as teaching about the power function.

An instructor version of the PowerPoint, with the cell equations for the embedded spreadsheets, is available upon request: