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, June 30, 2014

July TERF Day 1

Even though we were sad to see the June TERFers go, we're so exited to have the group of July TERFers join us! It's a small group, but the four of them worked together to conquer the Tour de Tyson Challenge with no trouble.

Ready to learn about Tyson and TERF!
Visiting Tyson HQ during the Tour de Tyson Challenge
What is this white thing? It's an observatory! Learning about the observatory and why it is here is stop #5 on the Tour de Tyson Challenge.
A group photo at the high point of Tyson
We hope the July TERFers enjoy their time here!

Friday, June 27, 2014

June TERF Closing

It was a sad end of the week as the June TERFers wrapped up their time at Tyson. On Friday, they made the trek up to the cave to have a final debrief with Susan about their experience here.

Alex's boot was a casualty of the hardcore hiking he did with the Turtle Team.
Ben is setting up the Tour de Tyson Challenge for the July TERFers on the way up to the cave.
Planking with Lonicera (aka honeysuckle)
Donuts in the cave
This group of TERFers learned so much during their time here, both about the research and about themselves. They contributed to their projects in a meaningful way, and we're going to miss having them around!

Monday, June 16, 2014

SIFT Training Week 2014 - Day 1

This week a new batch of SIFTers is coming out to Shaw Nature Reserve for training. Their first day was packed full of events. It began with an orientation and icebreakers, then discussion about field safety and a presentation on what field biology means.

After lunch, the SIFTers learned how to use a compass, GPS units, and topographic maps in preparation for their challenge course. They were sent out in small groups to find their way around Shaw and accomplish certain tasks along the way.

At the end of the day, they all met back up at the Trail House for discussion about how the challenge course went. It seemed like everyone had a good time!

A group explaining how they collaborated on the challenge course

Exhausted, but listening attentively

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

June TERF Day 1

On Monday, June 2, the first group of TERFers joined us at Tyson! They spent the morning learning about Tyson, both in the classroom and out in the field as they visited important sites during the Tour de Tyson Challenge.

Hard at work during the Tour de Tyson Challenge
They even found a turtle!
Group photo at the high point of Tyson
In the afternoon, they met their mentors and teammates to begin learning about the research they'll be doing for the next month. We're so excited to have them here!