Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A teachable moment...

This summer I helped out with a summer school field trip to Steigerwald National Wildlife Refuge. Twenty-two students in high school were enrolled in the program. Some needed the credit, some wanted something to do, and some just wanted to hang out with their friends.

We had three activities lined out for them: birding, plant id, and aquatic insect id and water testing. The morning was spent birding and looking at plants. Both sessions were sucessful with many species of both birds and plants identified. After lunch, we got into the water in search of aquatic insects. A couple of students remained dry and instead opted for testing the water. Aside from the expected catch of stoneflies and mayflies, we stirred up a few lamprey ammocoetes which were burrowed in the shallows of the creek. I took this opportunity to teach the students about the life history of lamprey and why they are so important. The kids were pretty fascinated by the animals.

After releasing our catch of insects and lamprey, we headed to the buses, some wetter than others. We didn't care though because this day was one of the first days of warm sunny weather.

Submitted by Donna Allard

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