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, January 25, 2016

SIFT & TERF Winter Weekend

As part of a continuing tradition after the TERF Symposium at Tyson, the TERFers joined the SIFTers at Shaw Nature Reserve for an overnight.

Before dinner on Saturday evening, the SIFTers rotated through casual conversations with the TERFers, fire ecologist Dr. Rae Crandall, anthropology graduate student Kelsey Nordine, and World Bird Sanctuary naturalist Tess Rogers. Rae has hosted many SIFTers and TERFers on her research projects over the years and Kelsey is looking to include SIFTers in her dissertation research soon. For Tess it was a homecoming since she is a SIFT & TERF alumnae from the very first cohort. We were thrilled that she was able to bring an owl with her!

TERFers field questions from the SIFTers about what TERF is really like.

Fire ecologist Dr. Rae Crandall shares her career journey with SIFTers.


Washington University graduate student Kelsey Nordine takes questions from SIFTers.

Kelsey explains some of the techniques used in her paleoethnobotany research.

World Bird Sanctuary naturalist Tess Rogers talks about her job with SIFTers.

Tess and Barnaby

There were lots of owl selfies.

On Sunday morning, the SIFTers learned about winter ecology with Dr. James Trager while the TERFers hiked down to the Meramec River to survey the flood damage.


The TERFers had to make a stop in the cave where they found a frosty hibernating bat.



Floating ice makes beautiful natural art.




The TERFers (left) encounter the SIFTers (right) in the field. Who is going to make it back to the Assembly Building first?

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