Ecology at the USA Science and Engineering Festival

ESA went to the USA Science & Engineering Festival on the weekend of April 26-27 to talk about ecology with some of the 325,000 people who attended. Special thanks to University of Maryland ecologists David Inouye (ESA’s president-in-waiting) and Ben Bond-Lamberty for coming down to the Washington DC convention center for the event.

At our booth we had a terrarium hosting a few invertebrates and a simple game to prompt questions about ecological ideas like seasonal shifts (phenology), heat island effects, and how other life has adapted to our urban presence. But probably the most popular activity was the set of animal footprint ink stamps. Several adult visitors also enjoyed David’s note cards made from recycled data punch cards!

White-tailed deer live among the 632,000 human residents of Washington. David Inouye talks to visitors about the plants and animals among us.

White-tailed deer live among the 632,000 human residents of Washington. Incoming ESA President David Inouye talks to visitors about the plants and animals among us.

What lives in the city? Urban areas have ecology too.

What lives in the city? Urban areas have ecology too.

Some kids are really excited about earthworms.

Some kids are really excited about earthworms.

Play our urban ecology game: win stickers.

Play our urban ecology game: win stickers.

Inky animal footprints were also popular.

Inky animal footprints were also popular.

SEEDs coordinator Fred Abbott and ecologist Ben Bond-Lamberty talk with an educator at ESA's booth.

SEEDs coordinator Fred Abbott and ecologist Ben Bond-Lamberty talk with an educator at ESA’s booth.

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An old punch card gets a second life as a stamp pad.

An old punch card gets a second life as a stamp pad.

Author: Liza Lester

ESA's Communications Officer came on board in the fall of 2011 after a Mass Media Science and Engineering fellowship with AAAS and a doctorate in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Washington.

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