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Sudden Oak Death

"Can My Tree Catch the Flu?" is an interactive showcase that helps increase youth awareness of the Sudden Oak Death (SOD) disease that has had devastating effects on the oak populations in California. To provide an analogy to how a tree catches this disease, participants are introduced to a familiar situation, catching the flu. Through a progressive series of inquiry-based, experiential learning activities, participants learn about diseased trees, as well as how their own behavior can impact the health of the forest environment. In the process, there is also the message that their personal habits can help them to stay healthy. The activities are interactive and engaging for the learner.

The showcase has been delivered at the 2009 Marin County Peer Summit, 2010 Marin County Farm Day, and the 2010 conference of NAE4HA (National Association of Extension 4-H Agents). The showcase is designed to be facilitated by teens as well as adults. For the Environmental Stewardship Pilot Project with the Conservation Corps North Bay, teen leader Freddie Genazzi of the Nicasio 4-H Club made a presentation of the showcase as part of the adult project leaders' training.

The showcase was presented at the 2010 National CYFAR Conference held in May in San Francisco; the proceeding for the showcase is available on the national CYFERNET website, and also at: Proceeding - Can_My_Tree_Catch_the_Flu- The showcase was also presented at the 2010 National Association of Extension 4-H Agents conference in Phoenix.

For additional information on this project, please contact Janice Alexander, Sudden Oak Death Outreach Coordinator, or Jane Chin Young, 4-H Youth Development Advisor, at: (415) 473-4204.

Educational resources

Lesson plans for the "Can My Tree Catch the Flu?" activities for viewing and printing. Also check out our write-up in Green Teacher magazine! This program was developed in collaboration with 4-H Youth Development and the California Oak Mortality Task Force.

Package of all referenced slides and visuals for the Can My Tree Catch the Flu activities, including: tree ring diagram, Sudden Oak Death symptom photos, hand-washing visuals, and microbial multiplication.

Check out the online, interactive animated activity based on these lessons!

A zip file of the "How do germs spread?" movie clip shown below: Tree Flu movie files

Sudden Oak Death activities for teachers and students as well as more information on Sudden Oak Death on the website of the California Oak Mortality Task Force at www.suddenoakdeath.org.

<img src="//ucanr.edu/media/sb348002.png" alt="Image from Flash Video" />

Comparison of P. ramorum spreading in raindrops with flu virus spreading in a hu