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Milkweed Monitoring Project

[Monarch caterpillar on milkweed]

Contact Information
Milkweed Monitoring Teacher Resources
Milkweed Monitoring Network Pages for kids (with data tables & network school profiles).


Since 1992, a number of teachers in Wisconsin have been participating in a Department of Natural Resource (DNR) classroom biomonitoring program. Using milkweed plants to detect ozone air pollution, classrooms have provided plant injury data to DNR's air management biomonitoring unit. Classrooms then received direct results about local air quality.

The program has been popular for a number of reasons, including:

  • students learn about air pollution and its effects on animals (including humans) and plants;
  • students learn how to set up study plots and collect plant samples;;
  • and students learn how to press and preserve plant samples.

DNR's air education program revised and updated this program in 1999. We added new teaching resources and rewrote the study guide based on teacher input. We tied the program to Wisconsin's academic standards. And, we developed this Web site to allow classrooms to share data and other information. We are no longer providing training or providing feedback on plant samples, but we are providing our teacher activity guide,"Milkweed Monitoring: Keeping Your Finger on Nature's Pulse" and other publications.

Please continue to send us your school's results! We'll post them on this site. Be sure to include the following:

  • School name and address
  • Teacher's name and grade taught
  • Description of the study plot
  • Any special notes about your results
  • The survey dates
  • Total number of leaves collected.
  • Highest level of ozone injury found
  • Highest % of ozone-injured leaves per plant
  • Total # of monarchs Observed
  • For more information:

    For more information about the program or to send your results, please contact:

    Lindsay Haas
    Box 7921
    101 South Webster Street
    Madison, WI 53707-7921
    Phone: 262-574-2113

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