• Science

    Pampas grass

    COMMON NAME: Pampas Grass

    ORIGIN: Argentina, South

    America

    Photo of Pampas Grass © 2006 Carolyn Martus

    Reason for listing as invasive species:

    Pampas Grass is a common weed in moist areas of southern California, and it can displace large areas of our wetlands, which are home to many threatened and endangered animal species.

    Pampas Grass creates a fire hazard with excessive build-up

    of dry leaves, leaf bases, and flowering stalks. In conservation areas, pampas grass competes with native vegetation, reduces the aesthetic and recreational value of these areas, and also increases the fire potential.”1

    “Large infestations of Pampas Grass threaten California’s native coastal ecosystems by crowding out native plants.

     

    Methods of invading natural areas: Seed dispersal by wind or animals.

     

     

     

    COMMON NAME: Tree of Heaven

    ORIGIN: Asia (China)

    Photo © 2006 Carolyn MartusTree.of.Heaven

    Reason for listing as invasive species:

    This plant has ecological impacts on ecosystems, plant and animal communities, and vegetational structure. It is fairly widespread in its distribution across California, including San Diego County. “By producing abundant root sprouts, it creates thickets of considerable area, displacing native vegetation. In California, its most significant displacement of native vegetation is in riparian zones. It also produces allelopathic chemicals that may contribute to displacement of native vegetation. A high degree of shade tolerance gives Tree of Heaven a competitive edge over other plant species.” “Tree of Heaven is a prolific seed producer, grows rapidly,

    and can overrun native vegetation. Once established, it can quickly take over a site and form an impenetrable thicket. These trees also produce toxins that prevent the establishment of other plant species.

    The root system is aggressive enough to cause damage to sewers and foundations.”

    Methods of invading natural areas:

    By seed and vegetatively by root sprouts.

     

    COMMON NAME: Brazilian Pepper-tree                                 Brazilian.Pepper.Tree                                                                   

    ORIGIN: Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay

    This plant has ecological impacts on ecosystems, plant and animal communities, and vegetational structure.  People sensitive to poison ivy, oak or sumac may also be allergic to Brazilian pepper tree because it also has the potential to cause dermatitis to those with sensitive skin. Some people have also expressed respiratory problems associated with the bloom period of pepper tree. Brazilian pepper tree produces a dense canopy that shades out all other plants and provides a very poor habitat for native species. In California, its most significant displacement of native vegetation is in riparian zones. It also produces allelopathic chemicals that may contribute to displacement of native vegetation.

    Methods of invading natural areas:

    Birds and mammals are the primary mechanisms for dispersal, although seeds may be transported via flowing water. 

    COMMON NAME:                                                                                           Giant.Reed

    Giant Reed, Arundo

    ORIGIN: Europe (Photo courtesy of UCDavis.edu)

    Reason for listing as invasive species:

    This plant has severe ecological impacts on ecosystems, plant and animal

    communities, and vegetational structure. Its reproductive biology and other attributes are conducive to moderate to high rates of dispersal and establishment. Also listed as a CDFG noxious weed. This nonnative species has escaped cultivation and established in natural areas of San Diego County.

    The Giant Reed has been the most serious problem in coastal river drainages of southern California, where it sometimes occupies entire river channels from bank to bank. It displaces native plants and associated wildlife species because of the massive stands it forms. It is also believed to alter hydrological regimes and reduce groundwater availability and presents fire hazards due to the massive quantity of fuel available, often near urban areas.

    Methods of invading natural areas: Spreads vegetatively either by rhizomes or fragments4

    COMMON NAMES: Red Gum Eucalyptus,                                                 Red.Gum.Eucalyptus

    River Red Gum

    ORIGIN: Australia

    Photo from Landscape Plants for Western Regions

    Reason for listing as invasive species: This is the most widely occurring species of Eucalyptus in Australia. 1 It grows in arid and semi-arid areas and can survive along seasonal watercourses in acidic or sandy alluvial soils and colonizes natural areas with moisture. Growth and development of understory plants is inhibited by large volumes of leaf, bark, excessive shade and branch debris.

    It is on the2005 Cal-IPC Invasive Plant Inventory as ‘limited’: this species is invasive but its ecological impacts are minor. Its reproductive biology and other attributes result in low to moderate rates of invasion. Ecological amplitude and distribution are generally limited, but this

    species may be locally persistent and problematic.

    Methods of invading natural areas: seed


    COMMON NAMES: Blue Gum Eucalyptus                                                  Blue.gum.eucalyptus

    ORIGIN: Australia

    Photo by John M. Randall, The Nature

    Conservancy, more photos at http://tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/photos.html

    Reason for listing as invasive species: Historically, the Blue Gum Eucalyptus tree was planted in California commercially for timber and fuel production. Existing stands of these trees can aggressively invade neighboring plant communities if sufficient moisture is available. Growth and development of understory plants (plants beneath it) is inhibited by large volumes of leaf, bark, excessive shade and branch debris. The Blue Gum Eucalyptus tree contributes to the spread of fire because of its characteristic long, stringy bark.

     


    COMMON NAMES:

    Fennel,    Sweet Fennel,      Wild Fennel                                            Sweet.fennel

    ORIGIN: Mediterranean

    region of Europe

    Photo Courtesy John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy, more

    photos at http://tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/photos.html

    Reason for listing as invasive species:

    Fennel will invade areas where the soil has been disturbed and can exclude or prevent the establishment of native species. It grows quickly, out-competing native plants for sunlight and water.

    This species has severe impacts on ecosystems, plant and animal communities, and vegetational

    structure. Its reproductive biology and other attributes are conducive to moderate to high rates of dispersal and establishment. 2

    Methods of invading natural areas:

    Humans have dispersed this plant globally for landscaping and cultivation. Seeds are transported by water, vehicles, humans and by birds and rodents.

     

     


    COMMON NAMES:

    Castor Bean                                                                                          Castor.Bean.plant

    ORIGIN: Tropical Africa & Asia

    Photo © 2006 Carolyn Martus

    Reason for listing as invasive species:

    Castor bean plants grow easily and quickly in our mild climate. One plant can produce at least 10,000 seeds. Once established in riparian areas, it can be difficult to control. It seeds within 3-6 months and quickly produces multiple generations within one year.

    Seeds can also be poisonous to wildlife. It is very invasive in San

    Diego County and difficult to confine to landscaped areas, and is not

    recommended for landscaping anywhere.

    Methods of invading natural

    areas: Seed, capable of crown sprouting if cut.

     

    COMMON NAMES:

    Mexican Fan Palm                                                                                      Mexican.fan.palm

    ORIGIN: Northwestern

    Mexico

    Photo © 2006 Carolyn Martus

    Reason for listing as invasive

    species:

    The Mexican Fan Palm is extremely drought tolerant, grows quickly and produces copious amounts of seed. It is established in many canyons, wetlands and riparian areas throughout San Diego County and directly competes with native riparian trees. Once established in natural areas, it grows quickly out-competing native plants and quickly forming dense thickets of palm trees with untrimmed fronds.

    Methods of invading natural areas: Humans have dispersed this plant globally for landscaping and cultivation. Seeds then travel over shorter distances from initial plantings through gravity, birds, mammals, and storm drains.

     

    Description: http://www.cal-ipc.org/landscaping/dpp/thumbs/Aquatic%20plants/EichhorniaCloseT.jpg
    More/larger photos

    water hyacinth

    Eichhornia crassipes

    Reputed to be the fastest-growing plant in the world! Can double in size in a week during hot weather. Forms dense mats that impede water flow. Seeds can live 15-20 years. The State of California has spent $45 million over 15 years to control water hyacinth in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

    Description: http://www.cal-ipc.org/landscaping/dpp/thumbs/Aquatic%20plants/ArundoBeachT.jpg
    More/larger photos

    Description: http://www.cal-ipc.org/landscaping/dpp/images/fire.gifgiant reed

    Arundo donax

    A serious problem in coastal streams. Dense growth damages habitat, while creatng a fire and flood hazard. Variegated varieties are also problematic and are not recommended.

    Description: http://www.cal-ipc.org/landscaping/dpp/thumbs/Aquatic%20plants/LudwigiaCloseT.jpg
    More/larger photos

    Uruguayan water-primrose, creeping water-primrose

    Ludwigia hexapetala, L. uruguayensis, L. peploides

    Crowds out native plants and reduces water quality. Dense mats slow water movement and create habitat for mosquito larva, which can carry West Nile virus. Although there are native Ludwigia, do not collect them from the wild.

     

    Weather Data 
     

    Websites about Heat Transfer:

    Wisc-On line Heat Transfer

    Geography for Kids--Heat Transfer

    Physics for Kids

    Three Methods of Heating

    Bite-Sized Science from BBC

     Conduction, Convection, and Radiation

    Teacher's Domain: Heat transfer

    Lowe's Home Improvement --Info on Heat Transfer 

    Heat Shield Solution 

    GCSE Physics

    Preventing Heat Loss

    Heat Transfer and Thermo Bluffton Edu 


    A system is composed of parts that interact. The Earth's system includes the atmosphere, the biosphere, the hydrosphere, and the geosphere. 

    Using your knowledge  of Greek stems, can you figure out...
    • Which one is the part that contains all living things, including plants and animals, and other organisms? 
    • Which is the part that contains the planet's water, including oceans, and rivers, ice, etc.?
    • Which is the part that includes the crust, mantle, and inner and outer core?
    • Which is the part that includes the mixture of gases that surround our planet?

    We will start the year learning about scientific investigation and experimentation. We will be creating and using an interactive science notebook.

     Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations.
    As a basis for understanding this concept, and to address the content the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students will:
    a. develop a hypothesis.
    b. select and use appropriate tools and technology (including calculators, computers, balances, spring scales, stopwatches, etc.) to perform tests, collect data, and display data.
    c. construct appropriate graphs from data and develop qualitative statements about the relationships between variables.
    d. communicate the steps and results from an investigation in written reports and verbal presentations.

     

    The Water Cycle

    sunwatercycle

    What factors converge to create it?

     

     

    spaceshuttle

    Visit NASA's site! See the earth from space.  Find the San Andreas Fault!

     

      quakehouse
    See the latest
    information on
    Earthquakes
    in
    San Diego County!

     

    volcano1

    Interested in volcanoes?
    Click here

     

     

     

    Visit the U.S. Geological Survey Site to find out about the latest seismic activity!

    earthquake1

    Or try this site: Earthquakes for Kids

     

     

     


     

     


    Rock Cycle Activities! Click here.
     
    How are rocks formed? Click here.
     
     
    What are the big ideas in Earth Science? There are five key scientific concepts that provide the foundation of our study of Earth Science:
    • The Earth is a set of closely linked systems. (See below.)
    • Our Earth's processes are powered by two sources: the Sun and the Earth's own inner heat.
    • The geology of Earth is dynamic, and has slowly changed over 4.5 billion of years.
    • There is a record  of Earth's geological change and this evidence is studied by geoscientists (and 6th graders in our class!).
    • We depend upon the Earth's resources.
     

     

     

     

Last Modified on February 19, 2015