Ecology Badge


The Ecology Badge targets the students' transect and quadrat and plant observation skills, all of which are key skills within ecology. This badge rubric assessed students throughout the field course, which allowed them to reflect on their progress.

Badge Goals:

  • Students will implement field census plots (line transects and quadrats) and collect morphospecies identities and abundance using established field protocols.
  • Students will calculate and visually represent morphospecies richness, diversity, relative abundance, percent cover, and density using data collected in the field.
  • Students will complete field-based assessments of plant identities by making systematic observations of major morphological features, location, and habitat.
  • Students will make inferences about the impact of geologic, geomorphic, and/or hydrologic factors on the spatial distribution, diversity, and density of plants.

Assessment Categories

The Ecology Badge Rubric (Acrobat (PDF) 165kB Jul2 20) assesses students on the following categories.

  • Field census plot data collection: complete protocol, including written evidence of random sampling location and orientation
  • Thoroughness and legibility: product is complete and legible
  • Botany product elements: inclusion of botanical transect or quadrat elements (e.g., length/size of transect/quadrat, location and name of plants)
  • Systematic observations of plants: observations clearly identify the key morphological characteristics of the plant using technical botanical terms; habitat, leaves, and flower/fruit/cone are drawn.
  • Quantitative accuracy:correct calculations, correct graphs if appropriate
  • Justification of interpretations:interpretations are supported by field observations, areas of uncertainty are specified, and the map is used to draw conclusions.

Field Course Activities:

The field course activities within this program that students completed in pursuit of this badge.

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