CZO REUs and RETs presented their research at the CUAHSI Biennial Colloquium, July 24-27, 2016, in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. The presentations marked the culmination of the 2016 CZO REU/RET program.
CZO interns dive right into field work during program orientation
“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
Anna Marshall (REU, Connecticut College) discusses her poster at the symposium
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 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).
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.