Learning Lichens Curriculum

Series of images taken during the Lichen survey.


Learning Lichens will introduce high school and advanced middle school students to intriguing lichen ecology, identification, and values to humans. Teachers can use these four lessons to help their students develop their observational, research design, and field inventory skills. Students will also be able to relate lichen ecology to its valuable use as a bioindicator of air quality and old growth habitat. The curriculum includes 4 lessons, student data sheets and protocols, teacher notes, and instructional PowerPoints for teachers and students. Learning Lichens has been developed and field tested by high school ecology teacher, Sarah Thorne and her students at Prospect Mt. High School in Alton, NH.Lichen biomonitoring is helping federal land managers meet federal and agency responsibilities to detect, map, evaluate trends, and assess the ecological impacts of air pollutants. Students will provide data through citizen science efforts to the US Forest Service Lichen Biomonitoring program.

Students will learn the biology, natural and cultural history, and scientific importance of lichens through field investigation.

Getting Started

Tutorial for Teachers - Learning Lichens with Students  pdf  

Teachers Guide - Overview of Lessons 1 - 4  pdf

Lichen Lesson Summary Table  pdf

How to Conduct Lichen Inventory pdf 

How to Establish a Belt Transect  pdf


Lichen Lessons

Lesson 1 - Introduction to Lichens  pdf

Lesson 2 - Lichen Structure Lab  pdf

Lesson 3 - Lichen Field Transect and Research Question  pdf

Lesson 3 Supplement - Data Sheet  pdf

Lesson 4 General Level - Lichens and Air Quality Monitoring Essay  pdf

Lesson 4 Honors  Level - Lichens and Air Quality Monitoring Essay  pdf




For Teachers

Lichen Lessons (.zip)
Lichen Presentations (.zip)


Resource List

List of Resources
Lichen Slide Gallery


Contact Information

Lichen Kit - Ralph Perron

Contact Information