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, November 11, 2013

TERF participant highlighted on Kirkwood High School website

KHS Student Participates and Presents at Research Symposium


KHS senior Ellen Sulser presented along side Adam Vorel, a junior at Eureka High School, the results of their summer ecological research at the Washington University St. Louis (WUSTL) fall 2013 Undergraduate Research Symposium on Oct. 26. Sulser and Vorel are members of the Tyson Environmental Research Fellowships (TERF) program. The students braved ticks, chiggers, and poison ivy during four weeks working in the field alongside university faculty, staff, post-doctoral researchers, and undergraduates at Tyson Research Center in Eureka, MO. The TERF program provides a cultural apprenticeship in university-based environmental biology research and training in scientific communication. It is an advanced summer experience modeled on the undergraduate research internships offered at Tyson.

For several Sunday afternoons in September and October, the TERF students gathered to work on data analysis and poster construction with guidance from their research mentors. The resulting eleven TERF posters were indistinguishable from those generated by undergraduates and made up 5% of the total posters in the research symposium. Many visitors were surprised to learn the TERF students were high school students after hearing their well-practiced research presentations.

Sulser and Vorel’s project was researching and explaining multi-stemmed trees in the Tyson Forest Dynamics Plot.

See this story on the Kirkwood High School website.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Missouri Environmental Education Association presents award to SIFT & TERF programs

The SIFT and TERF programs have been awarded the 2013 Outstanding Service Award from the Missouri Environmental Education Association (MEEA) in recognition of promoting environmental education in Missouri.

Susan Flowers accepted the award on behalf of Tyson Research Center and Shaw Nature Reserve during the 2013 Missouri Environmental Education Conference on November 2 at Blue Ridge Elementary School in Columbia, Missouri.

Over the past six years, more than 260 students from 57 different high schools have participated in scientific exploration of the natural world through the SIFT and TERF programs.