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"Livingstone College Ecology Club" » Salisbury, North Carolina
The Ecology Club of Livingstone College carries out projects on campus related to the environment. The Club also provides opportunities to students and members in the community to learn about ecological science and its importance. It also provides programs that will expose students to interactions with nature and acquire knowledge by field trips. Finally, the Club exposes students to summer enrichment programs in the environmental sciences.
Plans for 2008-2009
- The Ecology Club will focus on Education in Plant Diversity and Conservation
- The club will provide information to students on local seminars in Ecology and Environmental Sciences, summer internships and graduate school information in Ecology
- Livingstone students will participate in student SEEDS / ESA activities.
- The club members plan to participate in local public school events related to Ecology, such as earth day celebration.
- The club will attempt some fund raising activities.
- The club will invite guest speakers to promote training, internships and activities related to Ecology.
- The club advisor Dr. Sashi Sabaratnam will continue to serve as board member in Green Way Committee of Salisbury Parks and Recreation and Savannah River Site Environmental Research Station.
- The current president of the Ecology Club, Ms. Cynthia Opurum attended the Annual Meeting of the ESA in San Jose, CA in August of 2007 with Dr. Sashi Sabaratnam. The theme of the Conference was ‘Ecology –based restoration in a changing world’. Both of them presented the Annual Ecology Club activities in a SEEDS / ESA event. Cynthia had a Mentor to work with her and attended oral sessions focusing on topics such as forest restoration, production of bio-fuels from grasses and impacts of global climate change in Ecosystems. She also participated in field trips to learn about many academic and professional fields in Ecology. Field trips included coastal redwoods, salt ponds and marine mammals in the California shores.
- The second activity Cynthia participated with SEEDS was the Student field trip sponsored and funded by SEEDS / ESA to Santa Barbara Coastal Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site in CA from October 25 – 28, 2007. Attendees included twenty two students from nineteen Universities and Colleges across the U.S. Cynthia and other students explored the Kelp Forest of the coastal ecosystem. They also toured three water sheds and learned about instrumentation used for monitoring water sheds. They toured Research. Education and Experience Facility (REEF), for hands on experience with marine mammals and took a boat trip to Mohawk Reef to learn about coastal ecosystem and the marine species. Cynthia returned to Livingstone College with memorable experience of interacting and working with fellow students who are passionate about the field of Ecology and Professional Ecologists who interacted and taught them the types of current research in the field of Marine Ecology.
- The third opportunity of SEEDS /ESA in which Cynthia Opurum and Kenya Mc Nair (SEED alumnus) participated was a Leadership Conference at Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment, in Durham NC, hosted by the ESA President Dr. Norm Christensen. The event took place from February 21 – 24, 2008 and was sponsored and funded by SEEDS. Dr. Sashi Sabaratnam joined them on Saturday, February 23rd. It was delightful to see Kenya Mc Nair doing well in her graduate program. The goal of this meeting was to bring together students that have demonstrated leadership in SEEDS program and encourage them to lead within the Ecology profession. The participants contributed to the theme ‘Voices of hope in the rapidly changing world’. The meeting concluded with a tour to the Duke Forest, a 7,050 acres of Teaching and Research Laboratory, established in 1931. Students learned about a variety of ecosystems, forest cover types, plant species and soil types present in this area. Plant species abundant in this area included loblolly pine, yellow poplar, sweet gum, oak, and hickory trees.
- Brandon Davis, a biology major sophomore, had an internship with Glacier National Park Services in the summer of 2007. He worked with the native plants in Montana and developed a great interest in identifying and classifying plants. He is going back to Glacier National Park this summer (2008) to continue his work.
- Guest Speaker from Savannah River Site Environmental Research Station: Dr. Denise Grant, Director of the summer programs in the Savannah River Site Research Station in Aiken, SC, visited Livingstone College in the spring of 2008 to share with students the internship and summer programs available at the research station.
Activities of 2007-2008
- Sashi Sabaratnam
"Establishing a Greenhouse to Conduct Research" Special Project
A greenhouse was installed in November 2005, for the Biology department of Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina, under the supervision of the Ecology Club advisor, Dr. Sashi Sabaratnam. The greenhouse is used for short-term student research training and for instruction in classes taught by Dr. Sashi Sabaratnam. The greenhouse will be open to public school students and citizens on special occasions and will be used in the community outreach activities of Livingstone College.
"Horticulture Therapy" Special Project
Horticulture therapy for special needs students uses plants and gardens to promote physical, mental, and intellectual well-being. The therapy improves the quality of life for children and adults of all abilities through gardening and the natural world. The project included a training of faculty and student in seminars and workshops in horticulture therapy. The program began in the spring of 2004 and continued through the fall in Knox Middle School. Activities with the students included planting, growing fragrant herbs, and using plants to learn about shapes, colors, and textures. Work will continue in the years to come with volunteers and donations from the local community.