North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center
(360) 565-1533

Natural Resources

North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center


Hot Topics Website Assignment

The Hands on the Land website provides environmental education information to teachers, students and federal land management agency program providers. You will be entering place-based data, photos, and observations into a live website.

Focus for 2015: Plant Recolonization in Mills Basin.

Through this assignment, you will . . .

  • Interview researchers and make in-field observations
  • Locate latitude and longitude points via GPS
  • Annotate and edit your data entries
  • Work effectively in a group
For Your Resume Relevant Nat. Res. Jobs QUEST Skill(s) Practiced QUEST Skill(s) Graded
Posted well-written and edited data on a federal land management education website Data manager U Skills, S4, T1, T3, T5 U5

What to do:

Please review the docHotTopicsProjectU5.doc for this assignment.

Part 1. Hot Topics Data Collection

Each group will register with Hands on the Land and gain a username and password.

Students will learn how to post data by testing and deleting test data in the database.

On all field days, students (individually and in groups) will keep a log of in-field observations with each observation's GPS location (teacher will demonstrate use of GPS to find decimal latitude and longitude). This 'data' will be posted in the Hot Topic database back in the classroom. Data posted should be fact- or observation-based and must be relevant to one or more of the eight Hot Topics. Keep all records in your science journal.

In 2015, students will focus on observing plants that are recolonizing Lake Mills Basin. Each individual is required to have a minimum of 5 plant-based entries. They will include

  1. The common and scientific name of the plant.
  2. A detailed written observation of the plant (leaf structure, color, height, flowering, ripened fruit, etc.)
  3. An observation about its survival status (healthy, dying or diseased, discolored leaves, out-competing its neighbors, signs of animal browse, mechanical injury, etc.)
  4. A sketch.
  5. One excellent photograph.

See David Douglas' Journal from 1823-1827 for early observational accounts by a naturalist in the Pacific Northwest.

Part 2: Posting and Editing

Post content here:


  1. Each individual is responsible for behavior and attitude towards the other members of the group and towards the equipment.
  2. Each individual is responsible for behavior and attitude towards the environment with the technology (GPS, camera, use of a federal Internet resource).
  3. If photographing other students or researchers always seek permission, and be mindful of which individuals are consented or not for this study.

Internet Posting Guidelines:

  1. Students must be respectful of others (e.g. Seek permissions)
  2. Data must be grammatically correct, clear and concise.
  3. Students must cite and/or link data that is not collected directly from this class.

Submission Via: Materials will be posted on the Hands on the Land Hot Topic database.

© 2015 North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center
905 West 9th Street
Port Angeles, WA 98363
(360) 565-1533