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.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Session two, half-way through

Somehow, we're already through the first two weeks of the second session of TERF. Here's an update:

On the 6th of July, group 2 was introduced to the field station in the manner that has now become tradition: The Tour de Tyson Challenge.

Here, (with the help of a strategically placed clue outside the entrance) they make the acquaintance of the 310 lab building, which is used for various indoor analysis tasks.

Before long, they settled in to their research teams. A new team, affectionately termed "The Plant Consortium", was formed for this session to capture the overlapping research interests and similar study systems of Dr. Tiffany Knight, Dr. Tim Dickson and Dr. Laura Burkle.

Here, TERF teens Cassandra, Shayla and Mary of the plant consortium pin and label pollinator specimens.

Here, Jenise - another TERF member of the plant consortium - works with an undergraduate on her team to collect data. These small blue tubs are currently scattered across Tyson as part of a project studying herbivory and flowering success in invasive purple loosestrife.

The other two research teams - the aquatic team and the tick team - took on their new teens and embarked on some new tasks for July.

Following the first week of July, the aquatic team has been largely based on-site, sampling cattle tanks. Here, aquatic TERFers Ashaki and Crystal assist with sampling efforts.

Here, Emily - a tick team TERFer - assists undergraduate Gena Pang with maintenance of the containers that house lizards and mice during her tick feeding preference study.

With a welcome break from the heat over the last few days, session 2 has been a great success, thus far.

No comments: