Welcome to MAREN
MAREN is a network of researchers and educators who are searching for answers to big questions about milkweed, an important food source for monarch butterflies. We strive to include students in collecting data and making discoveries.
Events and Announcements
- We are pleased to invite applications for the 2022 MAREN summer workshop June 27, 29, and 30, 2022.
- The Milkweed Adaptation Research and Education Network (MAREN) Workshop will introduce educators to methods for observing the phenology, or timing, of milkweed development and the interactions between milkweed plants and the community of milkweed herbivores and pollinators. Over the past two decades the population of the iconic migrating monarch butterfly has declined, prompting widespread efforts to plant more milkweed, the only food source for monarch caterpillars. What do we need to know to make wise decisions about restoring milkweed populations to support monarchs, even as the climate changes? At MAREN, we hypothesize that we need a great deal more data about the phenology milkweed interactions that can be collected by educators. Using intersections of both scientific and indigenous ways of building knowledge, educators will be immersed in the ecological relationships of monarchs and milkweed, explore existing data about the phenology of milkweed plants, learn to make careful observations about milkweed growth and interactions with invertebrates at a field site, analyze and discuss the data they collect, and consider how to use data to make predictions and restoration decisions. Learn More and Apply!
- We have wrapped up data collection for the milkweed local adaptation transplant experiment and are working on data cleaning and analysis.
- We have installed thousands of milkweed plants across three sites for a provenance trial study of adaptation in milkweed and are gearing up for a second year of data collection in these gardens.
- We continue to invite participation in the newly revised Phenology and Herbivory Observations!
Recent Contributions to our Library
Visit Our Library
View and contribute to stories, videos, photos, lesson plans, publications, presentations, student works, and other creative contributions.
See Educational Resources
Our “Got Milkweed?” and “Phenology and Herbivory” curricula use student participation to inform our discoveries about milkweed.
Meet our Partners
Our network has over 30 partners, and we are always welcoming to new members!