This educational collaboration between Washington University's Tyson Research Center and the Missouri Botanical Garden's Shaw Nature Reserve is designed to engage St. Louis area high school students in scientifically-based exploration of the natural world. Linked programs of field training (SIFT) and field research (TERF) provide teenagers with experiences that realistically reflect research in environmental biology. Participating teens learn a variety of field investigation skills and then have the opportunity to put those new skills to work assisting career scientists with real research projects.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

SIFT Session 1 Day 3

Yet another good weather day! We are beginning to doubt that we are still in St. Louis in June. It was a hotter day, but still not nearly as humid as it normally is this time of the season.

One highlight of the day was coming across real field biologists in their natural habitat! We met up with a bumble bee research team from the University of Illinois and they were kind enough to share information about their project with us. A few SIFTers asked if there was a way for us to get them involved! I will follow up with James and his contact on that particular project. Hopefully we can coordinate an opportunity for some SIFTers to help.

9:00 Review previous day - go over last night's passage (Tim); review activities (James)
9:15 Prepare for whole day in the field - pack lunches, water bottles, field notebooks, etc.;
9:40 Walk to Wolf Run Lake
10:00 Aquatic Ecology at Wolf Run Lake - observe pond, sketch/write descriptions (Tim); macroinvertebrate sampling and abiotic investigations (Tim, Aileen, James); "I notice... I wonder..."

12:00 Wilderness Wagon to the Trail House
12:15 Lunch

12:45 Debrief morning investigation - What do the results mean? Conclusions about Wolf Run Lake? (Tim/Aileen); review "I notice... I wonder..."; explain creek investigation and setting up student-led studies (Tim)
1:15 Walk to Brush Creek
1:30 Aquatic Ecology at Brush Creek - SIFTers set up own investigations modeled after the morning pond investigation (Tim, Alieen, James)

3:00 Wilderness Wagon back to Dana Brown Center
3:15 Debrief afternoon investigation - compare and contrast pond and creek (Tim, Aileen, James)

3:45 Review schedule for tomorrow
- what to bring for overnight, questions for dinner with scientists (Lydia)
4:00 Bus loads up