11-11-19 | Education

Students Research Giant Sequoias

Help Park Rangers Measure Trees

Students from Coalinga High School in California recently visited Sequoia National Park to help measure the giant trees.

The high school students came from the small town of Coalinga, which is about 50 miles southwest of Fresno, California, to Sequoia National Park to collect data on what is being called a historic research study of the park's giant namesakes. 

According to Nature Corp, a volunteer conservation organization that organized the outing, scientists have generally believed sequoias are quite resistant to harsh environmental conditions but many of them are showing signs of stress after California's drought that lasted from 2012 through 2017. Of course, data collected over many years is needed to determine just how much the trees are affected. But with thousands of giant sequoias to tend to, park researchers are relying on help from the community. And the Coalinga High School students answered the call.

"We are excited to have Coalinga students take part in this important research project," said Laura Barcos, a park volunteer coordinator. "With the guidance of their teachers and Nature Corps staff, the students collected much more data than park staff can do on their own. By providing accurate and precise measurements, they play a crucial role in the protection of these ancient sequoias. In the process they will be transformed from a visitor to a community scientist, from a recreationist to a steward."

This service learning opportunity was made possible by a grant from Chevron, which attests to a strong commitment to supporting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) related school programs. The company's partnership with Nature Corps, extends for over 25 years. Their collaborative efforts have resulted in the completion of major conservation projects, including the preservation of the General Sherman giant sequoia, planting 20,000 trees throughout Sequoia and Kings Canyon, and restoring meadows vital to sustaining the park's wildlife.

To learn more about how you can help on the sequoia research program, and other Nature Corps programs, visit them at, or call them at (800)774-PARK.

To learn more about Chevron's commitment to education, visit them at:


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