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Orchards, Gardens and Fields

The MDI Biological Laboratory and community partners from Aroostook and Washington Counties have joined together in addressing arsenic in water, soil and food by engaging teachers and students as citizen scientists in collecting water, soil, and crop samples from agricultural sites with a history of arsenical pesticide use.

Long term exposure to arsenic from water and/or food sources can cause numerous severe health problems, including cancer of the bladder, lung, liver, prostate, and skin, diabetes, heart disease and reproductive, developmental, cardiovascular, pulmonary, immunological, neurological, and endocrine problems.

The greatest historic use of arsenical pesticides in Maine are areas that include potato fields, apple orchards, and blueberry barrens. The goal of this school-based citizen science project is to address a significant public health concern by supporting students in sharing their findings with their communities and identifying solutions to arsenic exposure through water, food, and soil contact.

Teacher Resources

The Orchards, Gardens and Fields project is an expansion of the arsenic awareness program, All About Arsenic , where students engage as citizen scientists in sampling their well water for arsenic analysis and sharing their findings with their communities....

Case Studies

Each person creates a case study at the conclusion of their Orchards, Gardens and Fields project, providing inspiration around curricular activities, strategies for building school-community connections in stewardship and replicable project design. Download...

OGF Curriculum

Curriculum ideas, resources, and materials can be found here. Citizen Science Project Management Orchards, Gardens and Fields overview

OGF Data Resources

Find useful resources for analyzing data here!

Orchards, Gardens and Fields - Exploring arsenic data using TUVA

Tuva is a data literacy solutions platform that makes it easy to visualize, explore, filter, interpret, and make sense of data in different ways, and to calculate basic summary statistics, and annotate graphs with arrows, movable reference lines, notes,...