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.

Tyson Environmental Research Fellowship

The TERF program is a field research mentoring program based at Tyson Research Center (TRC), utilizing small learning groups, near-peer mentoring, and student-scientist partnerships in the pursuit of authentic inquiry in environmental biology. This program is designed to build on the foundation of field skills taught in the SIFT program and apply them to on-going field research projects.

During the summer, teens spend 4 weeks in the field with research scientists. TRC provides a living laboratory with several ongoing large-scale, long-term experiments on issues pertinent to modern environmental problems, including invasive species impacts and eradication, biodiversity and rare species conservation, the ecology of infectious diseases, and habitat restoration.

During the school year following the summer research experience, the teens have continued interaction with project scientists as they work together to develop results from their field research into community presentations. They present scientific posters at the Washington University Fall Undergraduate Research Symposium in October and the TERF Symposium in January.

Additional information about SIFT and TERF can be found here.