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EEB Graduate Student Organization active in science outreach

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

(Pictured above are KU EEB graduate students of the EEB GSO Outreach Committee, Ms. Kelly Kluthe, and Ms. Kluthe’s Environmental Science students from Wyandotte High School in front of their newly planted pollinator garden)

The EEB Graduate Student Organization (GSO) formed an outreach committee for the fall and spring semesters of 2014-2015. The newly formed EEB GSO Outreach Committee traveled to Environmental Science Classes at Wyandotte High School throughout the spring semester to talk about the integration of ecological science in society by discussing the loss of pollinators worldwide. The GSO committee lead lessons on the importance of biodiversity, methods in measuring biodiversity, colony collapse disorder, architectural design, and on policies aimed to protect declining pollinator populations. Working with graduate students from KU’s landscape architecture program, high school students designed the layout of the pollinator garden as well as researched and determined plant species to be planted in the garden. On Friday, May 18th 2015, the GSO Outreach Committee led Ms. Kelly Kluthe’s (former EEB undergraduate) environmental science students in the planting of the pollinator garden at Wyandotte High School. The garden will be maintained by students who will receive community service credit for their work. The GSO Outreach Committee also worked with Ms. Kluthe’s classes to form a long term database that will allow students to monitor pollinator diversity over time. Graduate student, Jacob Carter, in collaboration with Ms. Kluthe and Wyandotte High School were awarded a small grant from the American Forest Foundation’s environmental education program, Project Learning Tree, in December 2014 to fund this outreach project.

The Outreach Committee, as well as other KU EEB graduate students (Aniket Sengupta, Jeremy Forsythe, Lucas Hemmer, David Hall, and Kathy Roccaforte), also led a Science Saturday at the Natural History Museum, participated in many science nights, and helped with The Science Olympiad during the fall and spring semesters of 2014-2015. A variety of booths were set up throughout the semester by EEB graduate students to help educate the public about ongoing EEB research at KU. The KU Biology booths were diverse in name and focus and included the following: Drosophila Life Cycle and Genetics, Fruit fly behavior: why it is so fly, Sharks, Rays and their Tapeworms, Butterflies! Jellies! Fish, Food Webs, Freshwater and Prairie Plants and Animals. The success of the GSO Outreach Committee will continue into the fall and spring semesters of the 2015-2016 year.

The GSO Outreach Committee included graduate students:  Jacob Carter (Co-Chair), Desiree Harpel (Co-Chair), Kaila Colyott (Co-Chair), Sally Chang, Alex Erwin, Andrew Mongue, Rachel Guyer, Kaylee Herzog, and Laura Breitkreuz


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