Class IIId, Scuola Media Statale L. Trombini, Tirano (Italy)
The winner of the Sylvia Sharnoff Award is the class IIId of the “Scuola Media Statale L. Trombini” of Tirano, in the Province of Sondrio, Italy. The class has worked within a broader project coordinated by Prof. C. Malavasi, which was originally started in the province of Mantova in 1996. In the following years the project was extended to a network of more than 30 schools (age:12-18 years) that have entered a coordinated biomonitoring project centered on the use of lichens for monitoring air quality. Pupils had to follow special courses in applied lichenology, and had to teach what they have learnt to pupils of other schools.
In their web page, the boys of Tirano present the results of their biomonitoring study in the provincial territory. The presentation, however, is not limited to the results. It constitutes a veritable introduction to biomonitoring in general, and highlights the special role of lichens in this field. The web page is unusually rich and well structured. Although written in Italian, it can be of general interest as an outstanding example of the use of lichens in educational programs: http://www.smtrombini.valtellina.net/licheniinrete/index.htm
– Pier Luigi Nimis, Trieste