Posted by: Stefan Anderson | September 5, 2011

Monarch Butterfly Research 2011

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CS3 Students are continuing the on-going monarch butterfly studies at Conserve School. Students and staff collect monarch caterpillars in the school garden and from nearby Indian Lake. They monitor them as they go from caterpillar to pupa to butterfly. At the butterfly stage they are tested for parasites and tagged for identification. The tagging and parasite work is done in conjunction with Monarch Watch, a program out of the University of Kansas, and Monarch Health, a program out of the University of Georgia.  Conserve School also participates in monarch larva studies run by the University of Minnesota. In the last few decades, monarch populations have dropped precipitously. Scientists suspect that both climate change and parasites are playing a role in this continued decline.

The accompanying photos show students and staff involved in a variety of steps in this research. You may also want to take a look at the following related blog entries: – Ongoing research is one way a semester school like Conserve can create links between cohorts. – Collaboration is a great way to inspire professional development.

Here is a video that Conserve School science teacher Andy Milbauer created that details this year’s work:

~Stefan Anderson



  1. What a beautiful idea! I used to live in the Santa Cruz mountains and fell in love with Monarchs there. It warms my heart to see the love for butterflies all across America. Keep up the good work!!!

  2. Wow, this is so impressive! I’m so glad to see Project MonarchHealth used in this way. Great going everyone!

  3. Thanks for posting these great blog entries about the S3 students. It really helps moms and dads stay in touch with all the goings on at Conserve School.

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