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  • Monarch Migration Data Summary
    March 1995 & 1996

    How does this spring's monarch migration compare those in previous years? Summaries of the migration data collected by Journey North during March of 1995 and 1996 are provided below. What does this information tell you---and what doesn't it tell you---about monarch migration?

    Try This:

    • List all the factors you think might cause the migrations to be different in 1995, 1996 & 1997.
    • List all the factors that might cause the data to be different from year to year.
    • Review the lesson, "You're the Scientist: Verifying Data Collected by Peers"
      (Also see page 55 of the Journey North Teacher's Manual.)
    • Teachers: Guide a classroom discussion using the list of questions is included below. If you'd like to share the ideas this discussion generated in your class, please send a message to: jnorth@learner.org

    Monarch Sightings March, 1996

    March 01 Houston, TX
    March 02 Brownsville, TX
    March 03 Luling,TX
    March 07 Buda, TX (near Austin)
    March 13 Gulf of Mexico (Oil platform)
    March 14 Gulf of Mexico (Oil platform)
    March 14 Garland, TX
    March 14 Baton Rouge, LA
    March 15 Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    March 17 Sugar Land, TX
    March 18 Eagle Lake, TX
    March 18 Port O'Conner, TX
    March 18 Houston, TX
    March 19 Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    March 20 Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    March 21 Chico, CA
    March 22 Pennsacola, Florida (Innerarity Island )
    March 24 Longview, TX
    March 24 Lockhart, TX
    March 24 Buda, TX
    March 24 College Station, TX
    March 27 Gainsville, Florida
    March 28 Wallis, Texas
    March 28 Austin, TX
    March 28 Buda, TX
    March 29 Auburn, Alabama
    March 31 New Orleans, Louisiana
    March 30 College Station, TX
    March 31 Ada, OK

    Monarch Sightings March, 1995

    Febr. 10 Immokalee, Florida (near Naples)
    Febr. 22 Houston, Texas
    March 05 Galveston, Texas
    March 10 Brownsville, Texas
    March 10 Leesville, Louisiana
    March 12 Austin, Texas
    March 13 Austwell, Texas
    March 15 Houston, Texas
    March 17 Matagorda, Texas
    March 18 Seabrook, Texas
    March 18 Galveston, Texas
    March 18 New Orleans, Louisiana
    March 21 Cuero, Texas (NW of Victoria)
    March 22 New Orleans, Louisiana
    March 22 Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    March 23 Luling, Texas (near Austin)
    March 23 Granger Lake, Texas
    March 23 Pine Mountain, Georgia
    March 24 Gainesville, Florida
    March 25 Sumrall, Mississippi
    March 25 Houston, Texas
    March 27 Padre Island, Texas
    March 27 Tyler, Texas
    March 29 Columbia, South Carolina
    March 30 Pensacola, Florida
    March 31 Garland, Texas

    Note to Teachers:

    Here are some guiding questions which might help students analyze the data and integrate the information they know about monarch migration. Please try to elicit these ideas from students rather than provide them to the class:

    Consider the Data

    • How many sightings were collected each year during March?
    • What was the date of the first U.S. sighting each spring?
    • What is the significance of the monarch sightings in the U.S. in mid-February, 1995? Why do you think none was reported so early in 1996 or 1997?
    • Are there towns for which you have data in 1995, 1996 & 1997? If so, how do the first arrivals compare from year to year?

    In addition to analyzing the data itself, remember to condsider the way the data were collected:

    Consider How the Data Were Collected

    • What do you know about the observers?
    • How might the behavior of the observers have been different? From one person to the next? From one year to the next? How would this affect the results?
    • How do the observer's comments about this spring's migration compare to the data that have been collected?
    • If you were to design a standard protocol by which monarch migration data should be collected, what methods should be followed by all observers? (For example: The same observers, the same amount of time observing, the same time of day, the same places, etc.)
    • In addition to date and location, what other information would be useful to record?