The SIFT program is a one-week summer field training experience at Shaw Nature Reserve (SNR) combined with additional training and field work activities during the following school year.
During the summer, teens are introduced to a variety of Missouri ecosystems and gain skills necessary to conduct field research, including plant and animal identifications, biotic sampling and census techniques, testing of abiotic factors, and training in the use of GPS.
During the school year, teens are involved in important research and restoration activities including invasive species management, prairie reconstruction, plant and animal inventories, and prescribed burns.
Additional information about SIFT and TERF can be found on the Washington University Institute for School Partnership website.
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.