2015 Grants

Forestry and Wood Processing School 

Plan

The Forestry and Wood Processing School in Karlovac, Croatia will continue its measurements of the atmosphere using a Davis automated weather station and also measure aerosols using a sun photometer. All data will be reported to GLOBE. Students will analyze these data and present their results to public in the local area and teach the local community members about meteorology, climate, and climate change. A report will be provided to YLACES of these activities and the response of the students.

Student SMAP Soil Moisture Measurements

Plan

The grant will enable three schools in Nigeria to participate in GLOBE’s partnership with the NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission by taking gravimetric and volumetric surface soil moisture measurements on days when SMAP overflies their locations. Each school will take samples from multiple sites within 20 km of the school. The data will be reported to GLOBE and contribute to the GLOBE/SMAP Soil Moisture Measurement Field Campaign running from October 2015 through April 2016. Student assessments will be shared with YLACES. The grant will provide needed equipment.

Prirodoslovna i grafička škola

Plan

Students from Prirodoslovna i grafička škola extend the school’s student investigation of air pollution in Bakar, Croatia. Measurements will be taken of aerosols along with soil and water conductivity and pH. The conductivity measurements have been found to be a good indicator of the presence of heavy metals, and pH is an indicator of the presence of nitrates and sulfates. Students will learn the close connection of the air, water, and soil in the environment. If the results show pollution, they will brainstorm ways to improve the local environment and try to come up with some fresh ideas about what actions could be taken. The project and the results of the students’ ideas will be shown at a lecture for Bakar residents. The grant will provide a Calitoo sun photometer and other equipment for the students’ investigation, and transportation to the measurement site. Data will be reported to GLOBE.

Results

Students submitted the report of their research to the GLOBE Virtual Science Fair and received high marks. This qualified them for a drawing to receive a $2,000 travel grant to enable attendance at the 2016 GLOBE Annual Conference. The school was selected in the drawing and two of the four students attended ine meeting with their teacher Marina Pallic. This picture shows the students and teacher in front of their poster at the confenence together with YLACES President Dixon Butler.

Lick-Wilmerding High School

Plan

For the 2015-2016 school year, Ms. Gillian Ashenfelter’s marine ecology class at Lick-Wilmerding High School will incorporate a service learning project that consists of educating students at Ulloa Elementary School about the rocky intertidal ecosystem and working alongside the elementary students to collect useful data. The high school students will work with the elementary students all year and teach them about the rocky intertidal and sandy beach ecosystems. Specifically, the high school students will teach them how to gather data on the organisms that live at the rocky intertidal zone and how to gather data on the Pacific mole crab that lives at the sandy beach. This crab is a key food source for birds, sea otters, and other animals of the sandy beach ecosystem. As a culmination to the year, students will take field trips to Ocean Beach and to Fitzgerald Marine Reserve where they will collect data that are reported to LIMPETS and made available on its website. Grant funds will go to provide transportation for the field trips.

EnvironMentors at Alabama State University

Plan

ASU EnvironMentors is designed to reach out to under represented high school students, and prepare them for potential environmental careers. This is achieved through environmental research with mentors, workshops, and participation in symposia where their work is presented and shared with the ASU community and the public. With funding from this grant, participating students will collect samples from multiple locations along the Alabama River and analyze them. They will also map the local watershed and gain an understanding of the importance of water quality. The students will be mentored by a team of professors and graduate students.

Tala, Canelones, Uruguay

Plan

Through this grant, students from the Tala Technological and the Jose Alonso y Trelles Secondary Schools and their teachers will be educated about issues of water quality, particularly in their community, take water quality measurements, analyze the results, and produce posters to educate their community about these results. Grant funds will provide water monitoring equipment, other materials, and transportation to the measurement site.

AggieMentors at UC Davis

Plan

AggieMentors, is working with Woodland Senior High School located in a predominately Hispanic farming community. Fifteen students from the school will be paired with graduate students at the University of California, Davis to develop research projects. Grant funds will enable students and mentors to travel to Lake Tahoe to conduct environmental measurements for use in their projects. The projects will be presented to professionals and the local community at a science fair. The three best projects will then advance to the National EnvironMentors Science Fair in Washington, DC.

Progress

Two AggieMentees were able to receive a scholarship and award at the National EnvironMentors Science Fair in Washington, DC, thanks to the data collection and analysis techniques experienced during the field trip. 

Louisiana State University EnvironMentors

Plan

Louisiana State University (LSU) runs an EnvironMentors program focused on inner-city high school students all of whom are considered at-risk for not graduating high school. Each year, approximately 15 students are mentored by 28 to 30 graduate students who guide the participants through am environmental research project. For the 2015 – 2016 academic year, the focus will be on testing water quality on campus at LSU, learning about the value of clean water, and measuring water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, salinity, and coliform counts. The grant will provide personal protective equipment, a pH meter and supplies. Most measurement equipment is available through loans from LSU labs. At the end of the year, these observations will contribute to a research project presented at the students’ high school. 

Future City, Inc.

Plan

During the summer of 2015, Future City Inc. will educate 10 student volunteers on water quality issues and measurement techniques and continue this with additional students in the coming school year. The focus is on the effects of combined sewer overflows on the estuarine and coastal shores within Arthur Kill near Elizabeth, New Jersey. The summer students will conduct an assessment through measurements of water quality, including fecal coliform, and document their observations with photographs. Among the questions to be addressed will be the tidal effects on readings. The summer research will form a baseline for the area, which will be monitored on a continuing basis. Presentation materials will be produced for sharing with local officials and stakeholders. There is also a community service aspect as students will remove debris from measurement sites.

Center for the Urban River at Beczak (CURB)

Plan

CURB will engage students from Saunders Trade and Technical High School in taking water quality samples from multiple sites on the Saw Mill River and Hudson River Front through October 2015. Students measurements will be overseen by three volunteer students from Sarah Lawrence College. The samples will be processed in CURB’s lab using EPA-approved IDEXX protocols. The data will be reported to the NYC Water Trail Association and distributed locally through YPRC’s email list. Students will work with staff to analyze the data and communicate trends and results to their peers and the greater local community through local press and CURB’s media outlets (website, newsletter, and social media). The grant will cover consumable lab and field sampling and measurement supplies; All staff time, other equipment, and overhead will be covered by the grantee.

North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center

Plan

Students at the North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center engaged in its Natural Resources classes are taking a variety of environmental data including weighing fish; monitoring juvenile fish populations, marine debris, and dead birds; and measuring water quality in several streams around Port Angeles, Washington. Their work is done in cooperation with Streamkeepers of Clallam County and Olympic Coast Natural Marine Sanctuary (OCNMS), and data from student observations is reported to Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST), NOAA, CoastSavers, Clallam county, Washington state, and Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe. Grant funds will provide equipment and waders to facilitate student observations.

Purgatoire Watershed Partnership

Plan

The Purgatoire Watershed Partnership will use grant funds to establish River Watch chapters at Trinidad Middle School and Primero High School within the watershed and support required training for teachers. River Watch membership brings with it measurement equipment with which students will go to the Purgatoire River and take measurements. They will learn about the river and watershed. Data will be reported to River Watch.

Loreto School Rumbek

Plan

Equipment will be supplied for use in GLOBE implementation at the Loreto School Rumbek in South Sudan. Students at the school will take measurements following a range of protocols as part of their science education. C. Greeman, a GLOBE teacher and trainer based at the school, will deliver the equipment and train faculty and students. The Loreto School includes a coeducational primary school and a girls-only high school.

Tahoe Institute for Natural Science

Plan

This grant to the Tahoe Institute for Natural Science will involve 200 students from eight classrooms at four schools in a newly created citizen science program observing the phenology of organisms in the Tahoe region of California and Nevada. Data from student observations will be submitted to the National Phenology Network database. Students will observe, record, and analyze changes in phenophases of various organisms, learn about life cycle events and their connections to larger scale phenomena, while connecting to their local environment. Classrooms will be able to compare their data to other schools and transects, which vary in location and elevation.

South Miami Middle Community School

Plan

South Miami Middle Community School received this grant for equipment for students to use in investigating how the choice and placement of plants around their school will effect school energy use.

 

Their research questions are:

  1. What is the optimal distance a shade plant should be from the house to maximum cooling?

  2. What are the tree/shrub appropriate size, density and shape for using shade effectively?

 

Data on the amount of shade, temperatures inside and outside, as well as changes in cooling costs will be collected weekly for different variables including the plant types, size, density, shape, height, and distance from building weekly through the school year. Results of the investigation will be shared and used in student science fair projects.

 

To enable temperature monitoring, YLACES will supply two sets of temperature sensors and data logging equipment at a cost of $912 plus shipping.

Haystack Awareness Program

Grant Summary:

Expand the current youth environmental education programs of the Haystack Rock Awareness Program (HRAP) by incorporating citizen science monitoring of Sea Star Wasting Syndrome.By connecting children and young adults to the natural world, the Haystack Rock Awareness Program works to inspire environmental conservation and sustainability in our future leaders.

 

Background:

Sea Star Wasting disease is used to collectively describe die-offs of sea stars. This current wasting event was first reported on the Pacific Coast in June 2013, and has caused mass mortalities from Alaska to Southern California. The widespread severity of this event was very disconcerting to scientists and the public. Although researchers have found the cause of the disease, the sea star-associated densovirus (SSaDV), scientists are still very concerned about the longterm impacts of this die-off. Because of its geographic range, researchers have relied upon citizen groups to collect data. In collaboration with the Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network (MARINe), HRAP has began monitoring the sea star populations at Haystack Rock.

 

Grant Proposal:

Our goal is to incorporate citizen science monitoring into our youth environmental education programs. Our current education curriculum is based on Oregon Science State Standards and focuses on students developing hypotheses about their bird and intertidal observations. By incorporating hands-on science and data collection, we hope to increase students’ excitement about the natural world, and because the data they will be collecting is important and meaningful to scientists, we also hope that student participants become avid stakeholders in their coastal resources.


Before the students visit the beach, we will train them in the classroom. They will learn about the wasting syndrome, the implications of the sea star die-off, and MARINe’s monitoring protocol. We will also present information about other citizen science projects and encourage them to think of their own projects. We would like to visit several high schools who participate in our field trip programs every year. We would also like to visit our local high school’s Marine Biology class in Seaside. Seaside High School lacks the funding to participate on the beach, thus part of this grant will be providing funds for their bus. Our goal is to involve at least three groups in this project. We estimate that 50 to 100 students will be impacted by this project. Seaside High School will be assisting us with our quarterly survey on April 20th. The other high school groups will be visiting on various dates in May. The data collected will be compiled and utilized by MARINe, HRAP, and the participating groups.

 

Evaluation:

The success of this project will be evaluated by surveying the students before and after they participate in monitoring. Questions will evaluate the student’s excitement for and understanding of citizen science. The sea star data summaries and the participant surveys will be sent to YLACES.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

ABOUT YLACES

Youth Learning as Citizen Environmental Scientists assists and rewards the implementation of inquiry-based, experiential science education where students do science and contribute to understanding of our environment through recognition and financial reward programs.

Grants range from support for taking simple measurements to teacher professional development and working for pervasive inclusion of student research projects in science teaching.

 

© 2020 by Youth Learning As Citizen Environmental Scientists.