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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Clayton, Indiana

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Clayton, Indiana
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Abby50



Registered: December 2022
City/Town/Province: Clayton
Posts: 1
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I have always had an appreciation for the outdoors. At a young age, I liked to learn the names of different animals and on weekends would beg my parents to take my family to a nearby State Park. As I have grown older, my family has had the opportunity to visit over 20 national parks across the country. The opportunity to travel across the country has revealed to me the importance of protecting the diverse ecosystems present in the United States from the effects of human population growth and improper land management.
Following a first grade ecology project, my family began to raise endangered monarch caterpillars every fall. Monarch caterpillars, which become monarch butterflies, are increasingly at risk of extinction due to the declining number of milkweed plants that are necessary to their life cycle.
Living in a rural area in the midwest United States, my family has had the opportunity to plant native milkweed patches in our yard and share milkweed seeds with friends and family. In addition to planting a milkweed garden, my family takes in monarch caterpillars and ensures that they survive till adulthood. In order to do this, we find the caterpillars and take them indoors where we separate them into large insect cages. Over the course of their larvae stage, we provide them with new milkweed leaves everyday and clean the cages in order to prevent disease. After the caterpillar enters its pupa stage, we keep the monarch safe from the elements until it emerges from its chrysalis. Later, after the monarch emerges and its wings have dried, we release the butterflies.
This year, my family managed to find and raise twenty-three caterpillars, including five that we donated to my school's science department. Through this experience my family was able to help our local ecosystem and expose my classmates to an environmental issue that is local: making it relatable. Additionally, by ensuring that these caterpillars reached the butterfly stage, my family has contributed to protecting our local ecosystems which are increasingly at risk from nearby growing cities.
I believe activities such as the raising of Monarch caterpillars are vital to protecting local ecosystems and educating the public on the various ways humans can positively and negatively impact these ecosystems. Through this experience, I have been able to increase my environmental awareness and become acquainted with a local environmental issue. The opportunity to raise and interact with Monarch caterpillars has inspired me to consider a career in environmental sciences.
Date: December 11, 2022 Views: 735 File size: 9.6kb, 20.9kb : 413 x 545
Hours Volunteered: 25
Volunteers: 5
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 17 & 14 to 42
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