California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo has a diverse collection of interesting trees on its campus. Over the past decade, select trees have received labels that include their common name, genus and species. The goal for this project was to develop a comprehensive digital database of the trees on campus and to create an educational tool for public use. A survey of the trees on campus was conducted and data were collected for each labeled individual. Trees were inspected for the presence of a tree sign, quality of the tree sign, proper identification, and tree health. Each individual was photographed and all data associated with that tree was entered into a digital database. After completion, the digital resource was used to create a self guided tour map for visitors and residents who are interested in learning about the native and non-native trees that inhabit the area. The database is now open to the public to explore the trees on campus and aid those doing future campus tree projects. Not only will this be used to educate visitors and residents about Cal Poly’s tree collection, but it will hopefully spark interest in botany and conservation.


Matt Ritter

Lab site

California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly SLO)

Funding Acknowledgement

The 2018 STEM Teacher and Researcher Program and this project have been made possible through support from Chevron (www.chevron.com), the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (www.marinesanctuary.org), the National Science Foundation through the Robert Noyce Program under Grant #1836335 and 1340110, the California State University Office of the Chancellor, and California Polytechnic State University in partnership with Cal Poly SLO. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funders.



URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/star/488


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