We started off with a quick slide show from the Tyson Olympics on the last day of the field season. And then I asked the TERFers to share their best and worst from the summer experience.
Some of the BEST comments were related to a sense of accomplishment - finishing the tree plot, finishing the prairie plots, catching more bees than another team. Other comments were related to specific tasks or teams - soil testing with Kristin Powell, working with tadpoles on the chytrid fungus project, visiting all of the tick research sites, counting frog eggs, getting a private tour of the Insectarium at the Saint Louis Zoo. And a couple of comments were about the sense of community - meeting people, participating in the Tyson Olympics.
Many of the WORST comments were about certain really hard tasks - working in the tree plot (x2), cleaning bottles, glade clearing (x4). A couple of comments were related to common field conditions - getting ticks, and feeling embarrassed about being muddy when returning to the Forest Part Visitor's Center. And again there were a few comments related to the sense of community - saying goodbye was hard, and hating being too busy to come back (x2).
We finally turned our discussion to the research communication part of the TERF program. There was consensus that BIODIVERSITY should be the overarching key message and it was decided that in the interest of getting three posters completed for the October 23rd symposium, the group should focus on three particular research project areas as representations of the importance of biodiversity.
- Forest Census Research
- Pollination Research
- Invasive Species Research
There was also talk of taking TERF presentations to the high schools, both as a way to communicate the importance of the field research and as a way to help recruit for the final SIFT cohort of the NSF ISE project. I will be e-mailing teachers at each of the TERFers' schools to see what we can set up for later this fall and winter. TERF Cohort 1 was interested in the TERF on Tour idea, but we were unable to get a coordinated effort. I suspect that Cohort 2 will make this happen!
Geralle Powell smiles at one of the group photos from June
(foreground, l to r) Franklin Warner, Alex Samuels, and Taylor Rohan get started on writing about invasive species research while (background, l to r) Ben Howard and Adrienne Ernst share stories of catching bees in Forest Park
(l to r) Max Margherio and Jessica Plaggenberg start work on a poster describing the forest census project