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 29, 2012

Another SIFT Prairie Work Day?

SIFTers from session 2 were given the chance to help the Tyson Prairie Team with some plant sorting this week. To start off this SIFT work day, project leader Dr. Tiffany Knight gave the students a presentation on what the prairie project is all about. Once the presentation was over, SIFTers got a chance to go see the 102 prairie plots for themselves and also other research sites at Tyson Research Center.

Dr. Tiffany Knight explains how each plot has a different treatment.

 Super-Uber-TERFer Taylor Rohan teaches SIFTers about plants found within prairies. This is Taylor's third summer at Tyson and she is an expert.

Once the tour was over, everyone headed back inside the LLC for a day of plant sorting. By assisting the Prairie Team, the students were able to get a feel for what real data collection inside a field research project is like. SIFT students also had a chance to meet the Tyson community and talk to current TERFers about their experience in this program. 

 Jonathan and Louis weighing their plant sample.

 Trey sorting prairie grasses.

 Working together, Adam and Ben get ready to record the weight of their plot sample.

Uber-TERFer Brendan Hellbusch expresses his excitement for prairie plants! This is Brendan's second summer working on the experimental prairie project.

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