You can view photos from orientation here. Be on the lookout for more images as our learning adventures continue!
The application period for the CZO Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) and Research Experience for Teachers (RET) programs has closed.
“Hydrosphere! Lithosphere! Atmosphere! Biosphere!” students and teachers shouted during orientation for this summer’s Critical Zone Observatory (CZO) Research Experience for Undergraduates and Teachers (REU/RET). As a means to understand each day’s lessons, interns were asked to connect each of Earth’s four spheres to understand what the Critical Zone is all about.
The Critical Zone, loosely described as where rock meets life, extends from the tops of trees into the depths of groundwater.
A Nine-Week Journey
For nine weeks, 12 undergraduates and four teachers from across the United States embarked on a journey to study the Critical Zone and immerse themselves in science and research at the Christina River basin CZO site with Stroud Water Research Center and at the Susquehanna Shale Hills CZO site with Penn State University.
“We had an incredible group of very motivated and enthusiastic students and teachers this year,” said Tara Muenz, education programs manager for Stroud Center and the REU/RET program coordinator.
Stroud expands environmental awareness with its intern program
By Chris Barber
West Marlborough — The Stroud Water Research Center does more than count bugs in streams. As a result of its educational and scientific projects, hundreds of students grow up to be responsible stewards of the earth who pass that caring attitude onto their children and future generations.
This summer, the scientists at the center on Spencer Road alongside the White Clay Creek took on the pleasant challenge of working with college students and teachers as part of a three-year internship program.
This summer’s 10-week session ended on Tuesday with a class of 12 interns from as far away as California taking new knowledge and methods back to their classrooms and colleges.
Adria Bondanza, a science teacher from Sun Valley High School in Aston told the leaders at the conclusion of her stay, “I already have some ideas for next year’s science fair. I can show my students how environmental research is done and the value of interdisciplinary science.”
The 2015 CZO REU/RET program participants traveled to Baltimore, Maryland to make poster presentations of their research at the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America.
The last event of the 2015 program was an End of Summer Research Symposium at Stroud Water Research Center.
The symposium featured oral presentations by the following undergraduates (REU) and teachers (RET) from Susquehanna Shale Hills CZO (SSH-CZO) and Christina River Basin CZO (CRB-CZO): Anna Schwyter (REU SSH-CZO), Sharon Dykhoff (RET SSH-CZO), Chrissy Wilson (RET CRB-CZO) , Meaghan Redmon (REU SSH-CZO), Adria Bondanza (RET CRB-CZO), Siobhan Donnelly (RET SSH-CZO) and Maggie Ruppel (REU SSH-CZO).
In addition, the following undergraduates made poster presentations at the symposium: Kelsey Bicknell, Sarah Granke and Meaghan Shaw (all from SSH-CZO), and Katie Li, Pinky Liau, Anna Marshall, Julianne Scamardo and Kelly Shen (all from CRB-CZO).
All presentations are available for download on the Completed Research page.
Welcome to our 2015 Critical Zone Observatory REUs and RETs. They have completed the orientation program and have begun working on their research projects.
The REU and RET application periods for the summer 2015 program have closed. The application period for summer 2016 will open in late December or early January.
The Pennsylvania State University is coordinating a combined Research Experience for Undergraduates/Research Experience for Teachers (REU/RET) Distributed Site in collaboration with Stroud Water Research Center.
CZO REU/RET participants will pursue interdisciplinary research to better understand the interconnectedness of Critical Zone processes. Participants will receive a stipend, travel costs, housing, and meals. Learn more about the program.
Critical Zone Observatory Research Experience for Undergraduates and Research Experience for Teachers program participants traveled to Shepherdstown, West Virginia to present their research at the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI) Biennial Meeting.
The theme of this year’s meeting was Water Across the Critical Zone: From Local to Global Hydrology. To see the posters visit the Presentations page and click on the links to view PDF versions.
While school is out, research continues with hands-on summer program
By Anne Danahy
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Dangling over the side of a 4-foot hole on a forest floor, Penn State undergraduate Kim Schmid spent the better part of a recent day digging in the dirt — or collecting soil samples, to be technical.
The end goal: a better understanding of the seasonal ponds known as vernal pools, how they form on shale landscapes and the best way to manage them. That meant Schmid and fellow student John Schneider took turns with a shovel and a post hole-digger — mosquitos and gnats notwithstanding. Then, starting from the top and inching down they collected samples from each layer of soil. The next step was a ground-penetrating radar survey to unravel the subsurface layers and measure the depth to solid rock beneath them.
“I love it,” said Schmid, who will be a junior in the fall. “In classrooms, you learn about it through a textbook. It’s cool doing it in person.”