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"Iowa State University SEEDS" » Ames, Iowa
The Iowa State University SEEDS Campus Ecology Chapter serves to recruit and retain more underrepresented students (high school and undergraduates) in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
field. Our chapter works with high school students, undergraduates, and several faculty and staff affiliated with the university and outside the university community as well. Our work helps give
students hands-on exposure to the field which will spark and nurture their interests in ecology. Our SEEDS Chapter activities and collaborations will help seal the pipeline that has documented to have a "leak" in it from as early as
the high school level. We help motivate high school and undergraduate students to pursue advanced degrees in Ecology and become employed in the field of Ecology as well.
Plans for 2010-2011
- In the 2010-2011 academic year, we will continue to focus on the TREE program and will work to maintain and enhance our dramatically increased set of activities initiated in 2009-2010. The TREE program will be our priority for the rest of the summer. We will continue developing the program over the next month until the students join us at Dr. Janzen’s field research site from 17-30 June. Here they will learn about ecological research in a hands-on fashion. After completing the two-week program, the students will continue to work with us to prepare for presenting their research activities at upcoming conferences.
Other possible and certain upcoming chapter and member activities include:
- Developing a stand-alone web site to complement the one we have for the TREE program
- Forest restoration at Ledges State Park
- Herptile hunt in Winterset, IA
- Behind the bars: Omaha (NE) Zoo trip
- Guest speakers working in various careers linked to the field of ecology
- Dr. Janzen will co-author a poster at the 2010 ESA meeting concerning advances in recruiting and retaining women and minorities in faculty science positions
Depending on the interests and ideas of our members, we may initiate additional activities in the 2010-2011 school year. These could include community service such as prairie restoration or invasive species removal, further education outreach and working with local area schools, and even literature discussions or research presentations.
Due to our recruiting efforts, our young chapter has grown dramatically in three years! Our chapter will continue to recruit and retain more underrepresented and underserved students (high school, undergraduates, and graduates) in ecology and in evolutionary biology.
Activities of 2009-2010
- We wrote and received NSF REU, RET, and RAHSS supplement grants in support of a fourth year of TREE (Turtle Camp Research and Education in Ecology), our high school outreach program. We have identified eight students who will participate in the program in June, including three alumnae from last year’s program. The eight students come from overall diverse ethnic, economic, and geographic backgrounds. We are very excited for a fourth year of TREE and the potential to add years to the program (more details at http://www.public.iastate.edu/~fjanzen/TREE/TREEsplash.html).
- This past year we also held several events aimed at increasing our presence on campus and expanding our undergraduate student membership. For instance, we held a general meeting last Fall to introduce students to ESA/SEEDS (see attached flyer: SEEDSrecruitposter.jpg), and our chapter met or held events every other week thereafter. These events were well attended, but we are still working towards increasing and retaining student members.
Other chapter member activities included:
- ISU SEEDS Chapter was named runner-up for the 2009 ESA SEEDS Chapter of the Year Award!
- Jeramie Strickland presented a poster about TREE at the 2009 ESA Meeting in Albuquerque, NM
- ESA SEEDS Fellow Elizabeth Quimba initiated a research project on imperiled western hognose snakes in Dr. Janzen’s lab in summer 2009
- ISU SEEDS alumnus Jeramie Strickland began employment with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in summer 2009 and continued working frequently with the TREE program and the ISU SEEDS Chapter to coordinate activities
- Oregon State University SEEDS alumnus Antonio Cordero initiated his Ph.D. degree in ecology and evolutionary biology with Dr. Janzen in August 2009 and helped coordinate activities for the ISU SEEDS Chapter
- Six ISU SEEDS Chapter members developed a hands-on, outdoors program themed around ecosystems and presented it to roughly 30 K-5th grade children at the Gilbert (IA) Youth and Shelter Services on 6 Nov. 2009
- ISU SEEDS Chapter members developed a hands-on program comparing reptiles & amphibians to mammals and presented it to grade-school children at the Story County (IA) after school program on 20 Nov. 2009
- ISU SEEDS Chapter members wrote a detailed constitution, elected officers, implemented a Chapter listserve, and became an official student organization at ISU in spring 2010
- ISU SEEDS Chapter members attended a seminar on campus by Sean Carroll on 10 Feb. 2010
- ISU SEEDS Chapter members participated in a public reading of Aldo Leopold’s “A Sand County Almanac” held at the Ames (IA) Public Library on 6 Mar. 2010
- ISU SEEDS Chapter members developed a promotional/informational poster and presented it to high school juniors visiting ISU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences on 10 Mar. 2010, at the Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference held at ISU on 26-28 Mar. 2010 (see attached poster: MEECposter.jpg), and at the annual poster session of the ISU Department of Natural Resources Ecology and Management on 2 Apr. 2010
- ISU SEEDS Chapter members developed a hands-on program on reptiles and presented it to grade-school children at the Story County (IA) Kids Club on 25 Mar. 2010
- ISU SEEDS Chapter members attended a seminar on campus by Jeff Corwin on 5 Apr. 2010
- ISU SEEDS Chapter members obtained a $100 grant to support our ESA SEEDS BioBlitz activities at Chichaqua Wildlife Refuge (IA) on 1 May 2010 (see attached advertisement poster: SEEDSBioBlitz.jpg); details of our findings and numbers of participants are provided in the final report for the grant
- ISU SEEDS alumna Lori Neuman-Lee completed her M.S. degree in biology at Eastern Illinois University in May 2010
- In order to reach even more institutions and researchers, a manuscript outlining the model and success of the TREE program is being revised for peer-review publication
- Fredric Janzen
"Turtle Camp Research and Education in Ecology Program (TREE)" Special Project
Since 1988, Professor Fred Janzen of Iowa State University (ISU) has researched reptile ecology on and around an island in the Mississippi River, affectionately known as Turtle Camp. These activities primarily take place annually from mid-May to the end of June, during which time Professor Janzen and his students live and work on the island. Given the well-established nature of Turtle Camp, and the high quality of research and education that take place there, we believe that it serves as an outstanding framework on which to build a high school and undergraduate student research, education and mentoring program. The Turtle Camp Research and Education in Ecology (TREE) program will provide students with an opportunity to conduct ecological research on organisms in their natural environments, learn key ecological concepts, discuss their work with the public and the scientific community, and participate in multilevel reciprocal mentoring. High school and undergraduate student participants will come from diverse ethnic, economic and social backgrounds, and thus, TREE will further the mission of SEEDS by immersing traditionally-underrepresented students in an environment of intensive ecological education and research.