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.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

SIFT and TERF Winter Weekend

After the TERF symposium, the TERFers headed out to Shaw Nature Reserve to spend the night as part of the SIFT winter weekend. This gave the SIFTers a chance to talk to the TERFers, but also gave the TERFers a chance to hang out all together one last time.

First off was the dinner with scientists, where the TERFers were one of the rotations. Other guest scientists also attended.

Dr. Catrina Adams, a former paleoethnobotanist who is now director of education for the Botanical Society of America
Dr. Raelene Crandall, a fire ecologist and post-doctoral researcher at WUSTL
The TERFers sharing their experiences with SIFTers
Then came the fun and games.

Some SIFTers highjacked Susan's camera to take a selfie.

While the SIFTers went on a night hike, the TERFers spent the evening sitting in circles.

In the morning, the TERFers went out for a hike of their own.

Clayton and Adam reenacting when a tree almost fell on them in the Tyson Forest Plot.
 They skipped rocks on the Meramec River...

...found the Shaw cave...

...and climbed a bluff...

...until Susan said it was too high.

Then they took some group shots before heading back.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

TERF Symposium

Saturday, January 17 was the TERF Symposium. We had close to 100 attendees in the Living Learning Center, including parents, siblings, friends, prospective SIFTers and their families, Tyson researchers and TERF mentors, teachers, undergrads in the Wash U Practical Skills course, 21 SIFTers, and SIFT staff.

Clayton Hillerman and Adam Vorel couldn't make the fall symposium at Washington University, so they had to get a posed picture with their work here.
Alex presents his research to his biology teacher, Laura Montgomery.
Cassandra Galluppi (left, SIFT & TERF Cohort 1) and Holly Bernardo (right), technicians on the invasive plants and glade teams, respectively, came out to support their TERFers.
In addition to presenting posters, several of the TERFers gave presentations, both about their research...

...and their TERF experiences.

Adam talked about how his experiences at Tyson over multiple years helped him realize his desire to become a high school biology teacher.
The feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive. The day was a wonderful capstone to an excellent year for the TERFers.

Monday, January 12, 2015

SIFT 2015-16 application is available!

The application for SIFT 2015-16 is now available and we would appreciate your sharing it with high school students who may be interested in the program.

Learn more about the SIFT program and download the SIFT 2015-16 application.

Application deadline: March 27, 2015

Two teacher recommendation letters are required, so plan to request the recommendations well before your spring break