We are now entering the beta testing phase of our new Temperature Monitoring Program. We have invited 50 Monarch Watchers to receive prototype kits and participate in this testing; however, we invite everyone to join in discussions here as we flesh out the program and work out all of the kinks. If you have questions, suggestions, or comments along the way please let us know.
We have several goals for this program. One goal is to develop a thorough understanding of the growth of monarch populations in all portions of the country. To achieve this objective we need a network of participants who will monitor temperatures in monarch larval habitats.
Our attempts to document the growth of monarch populations by monitoring degree days, while revealing, has several failings. First, the degree days are calculated from temperatures measured at 1.5 meters at weather stations that are some distance from the observed larvae. Secondly, the estimating method we are using to calculate the degree days is known to have limitations. Thirdly, since monarch larvae appear to have some control of their body temperatures by exposing themselves to sunlight, they would appear to have the capacity to develop faster than would be indicated by simply measuring degree days. Our temperature loggers can help us resolve each of these problems. The loggers will allow all of us to obtain data at the site where larvae are developing rather than using temperatures from remove sites. We will also be able to calculate degree days more accurately by using hourly temperature measurements and we will be able to enlist volunteers and students to conduct numerous experiments that will reveal the extent to which larvae use the heating of the sun to shorten their development.
Then there are all of the other applications and lessons that are possible using this technology...Stay Tuned!
Here is the current geographic distribution of our Temperature Monitoring Beta Testers (49 is the U.S. and 1 in Canada): CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA(2), IL, IN(2), KS(7), KY, MA, MD (2), MI (2), MN(2), MO, NC, NJ, NY(2), OH, OK, PA(2), TX(8), VA, WI(3), WV(2), ONT
Last edited by Jim
on Sun Aug 27, 2006 7:17 pm, edited 4 times in total.