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, October 28, 2013

TERFers present to the public!

On Saturday, October 26, the TERFers had a significant presence at the WUSTL Fall 2013 Undergraduate Research Symposium in Olin Library on the Danforth Campus.  Their 11 posters were indistinguishable from those of the undergraduates and made up 5% of the total posters in the symposium.  Many visitors were surprised to learn the TERFers were high school students after hearing their well-practiced research presentations.

Hannah Kruse getting ready for her first talk about the effects of fire on the germination and survivorship of two invasive plant species.
Thomas Van Horn explains measurement of herbivory on three invasive plant species.
Andrew Feltmann discusses differences in deer usage to Anna Liang, an undergraduate who also spent the summer conducting research at Tyson.
George Garner shares data indicating removal of invasive garlic mustard affects recruitment of woody plants.
Ellen Sulser and Adam Vorel take a break from explaining their tree multi-stems research in the Tyson Forest Dynamics Plot.
Courtney Vishy discusses her research of human impacts on exotic plant species abundance.
Ben Banet gets to sit down on the job because of his recent appendix removal. Such dedication to sharing his research on box turtle home range!
Adam Rangwala and Maddy Herries are ready for questions about the St. Louis Box Turtle Project.
Leyna Stemle explains the differences in data patterns for her research into plant extinctions in newly restored glades.
TERF undergraduate intern Emily Stein is ready to tell you all about her informal science education projects from the summer.
It is wonderful to see support from members of the Tyson summer community!
Adam Rangwala and Maddie Herries take turns explaining box turtle health data.
The Turtle Tracking TERFers with mentor Dr. Stephen Blake

Monday, October 21, 2013

The TERF posters are ready to go!

There are a record number of TERF posters entered in the WUSTL Fall 2013 Undergraduate Research Symposium!  It will be very exciting to see the TERFers discuss their projects with the public on Saturday, October 26.

Ben Banet, Saint Louis University High School '14
Study of box turtles in St. Louis urban and suburban environments indicates significant differences in home ranges
Mentor: Dr. Stephen Blake, visiting scientist, Biology Department

Maddy Herries, Nerinx Hall '14
Adam Rangwala, Clayton High School '14
Investigating box turtle health and communicating findings using social media
Mentor: Dr. Stephen Blake, visiting scientist, Biology Department

Andrew Feltmann, St. Francis Borgia High School '14
Removal of an invasive species, bush honeysuckle, increases deer usage but only in unburned habitats
Mentor: Dr. Raelene Crandall, Biology Department

George Garner, Ladue Horton Watkins High School '15
Removal of an invasive species, garlic mustard, influences recruitment of woody plants
Mentor: Dr. Raelene Crandall, Biology Department

Leyna Stemle, Marquette High School '14
Plant extinctions in newly restored glades can be attributed to stochastic processes
Mentors: Holly Bernardo and Dr. Tiffany Knight, Biology Department

Clayton Hillermann, Eureka High School '15
Hannah Walkowski, Fort Zumwalt North High School '15
Effect of soil variation on tree species diversity in a forest community
Mentors: Maranda Walton and Dr. Jonathan Myers, Biology Department

Ellen Sulser, Kirkwood High School '14
Adam Vorel, Eureka High School '15
Die-off and recruitment of tree multi-stems after drought
Mentors: Maranda Walton and Dr. Jonathan Myers, Biology Department

Maddie Willis, Marquette High School '14
Rodents show preference for seeds of certain native glade species
Mentors: Holly Bernardo and Dr. Tiffany Knight, Biology Department

Hannah Kruse, Fort Zumwalt North High School '15
Fire increases invasive species germination but not survivorship
Mentors: Erynn Maynard and Dr. Tiffany Knight, Biology Department

Courtney Vishy, Francis Howell High School '14
Anthropogenic disturbance increases exotic species abundance
Mentors: Erynn Maynard and Dr. Tiffany Knight, Biology Department

Thoman Van Horn, Thomas Jefferson School '14
Fire effects on herbivory of invasive plant species
Mentors: Erynn Maynard and Dr. Tiffany Knight, Biology Department

Sunday, October 20, 2013

DANGER: TERFer posters under construction!

The TERFers gathered together for several Sunday afternoons in September and October to work on their posters for the upcoming WUSTL Fall 2013 Undergraduate Research Symposium. 

The Fire Ecology Team takes their posters very seriously!  Dr. Rae Crandall (center) always helps her TERFers learn how to create a strong research poster.

Research technician Maranda Walton (center) helps the four TERFers on the Forest Dynamics Team organize their research information into the proper sections of a scientific poster.

Research technician Erynn Maynard (l) guides TERFer Hannah Kruse through construction of a poster on their invasive plants research.