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.

Friday, June 22, 2012

TERFers Mix It Up a Little

During the last week, several TERFers had the opportunity to work with research teams other than their own. On Wednesday afternoon, Tom Collins and Julia Steger had the chance to work with Dr. Brian Allan, a former post-doc at Tyson Research Center. Brian Allan was the lead researcher on the "Tick Team" here at Tyson and has worked with former TERF cohorts. He studies the effects of changing habitats in various urban and rural areas in relation to tick abundance. So Tom and Julia were given the chance to put aside the glade and prairie plants for an afternoon and learn about tick research.

Tom and Julia were given the task of re-taping the tick traps that 
Dr. Allan uses in the field.

On Thursday the Glade Team TERFers, Maddie and Julia, went to work with the Prairie Team. Being in a natural outdoor environment, a lot of work must be done to maintain the experimental prairie plots to ensure that the data is not compromised. One job that must be done is the removal of unwanted plants, such as invasive thistle and vetch and even tree saplings. That was the job for Maddie, Julia, and "Uber-TERFer" Brendan Hellebusch Thursday morning. Once the unwanted plants were removed, the Prairie Team plus the two glade TERFers, sorted plant samples from a few of the plots.

 Maddie Willis in the prairie.

Julia Steger scanning one of the plots for any sign of tree saplings.

Maddie Willis cuts down a tree that has grown in an experimental plot.

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