CLS Mezzanine view of rings

Want to be a Part of a National Scientific Research & STEM Education Project?

Students from across Canada are invited to be a part of the Trans-Canadian Research and Environmental Education (TREE) project: a national research program to study the environmental history of their own community. The MAD Lab (studying tree growth) and the CLS (studying chemistry) are able to look at tree cores, specifically the chemistry of the rings, and connect that information to a timeline of environmental events of the community. Students will learn about the life and nutrient cycles of trees, apply that knowledge to decipher information about the environment captured in tree rings, and the nutrients in soil by working through modules and activities designed to engage students in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and social studies with Indigenous perspectives. The TREE program was originally written to connect with Grade 8 curriculums across Canada but is easily adaptable and connects to concepts in grades 6-12! See below for more information on curricular connections.

MAD LAB Dendrochronology Lab logo

The CLS is proud to be to working in partnership with the Mistik Askiwin Dendrochronology Laboratory (MAD Lab) to help deliver the TREE program. The MAD Lab was launched in the spring of 2014 after moving to Saskatoon from Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick. The MAD Lab was formed to investigate tree ring related research questions in many areas of Canada and now through the tree ring chronologies they have created, the MAD Lab is able to understand the climate history of various location, date historical artifacts, and investigate how environmental contamination from humans has changed over time. With the TREE program, MAD Lab is investigating the adaptability of trembling aspens (Populus termuloides) to toxins in environments across Canada.

How Does it Work?

You can find more information at our TREE website or download our TREE Overview document. Check out our instructional videos as well!

  • Teacher investigates available resources & lesson plans and completes registration form on the TREE website: tree.lightsource.ca
  • CLS Education team member contacts teacher and a TREE kit is booked
  • Class is sent a kit with tools for sample collection
  • Students research events in their community that might impact trees
  • Students collect samples from trembling aspen and nearby soil within their community
  • Samples are sent to the CLS and the MAD Lab for data analysis
  • Data is sent back to students
  • Students analyze their data and compare their results with other classes across Canada

How Does TREE Connect to Curriculum?

The TREE program takes on a multidisciplinary approach, making connections in different subject curriculums across Canada. Although science is at the core of the TREE program's curricular agenda, attention has also been given to areas such as Indigenous Studies, Social Studies, English Language Arts, Mathematics, Art, and so much more. The modules and lesson plans were developed with a Grade 8 focus to start but educators are encouraged to use the resources to expand on and guide their students' learning. CLICK HERE to see how TREE connects to curriculums across Canada. 

Interested in Partcipating?

Please fill out our Registration Form on the TREE Website

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If you’re looking for information on how you can use CLS techniques in your research program, please contact us using this form.

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