Western Wayne High School AP Biology students visited Lacawac Sanctuary and Biological Field Station on October 17.
Students had the opportunity to engage in field research in the area of Forest Ecology and Conservation Biology. During the course of the visit, students collected and analyzed data from the Lacawac Forest including a comparison of biodiversity inside of Deer Exclosures as compared to the rest of the forest, tree identification, invasive species discussions and conservation ecology.
These rich field experiences allowed students to really understand the characteristics of a stable forest ecosystem. Students learned about research that is happening at the collegiate level at Lacawac Field Station and about partnerships between Lacawac and various universities. These students will return to Lacawac in the spring to conduct their own research in the area of aquatic ecosystems.
All of the students greatly enjoyed their field experience.
Junior Cailie Thoman, who wishes to study marine biology in college, explained the benefits of doing scientific work in this type of setting.
“I liked getting out and being in the fresh air on our hike while we worked,” Cailie explained.
Her classmate fellow junior Carter Davis agreed.
“We got a lot of experience on collecting data,” Davis, who hopes to enter the business field, explained. “I find it easier to learn outside. I think I am more attentive out there in the field.”
Another classmate junior Courtney Petrilak explained how the students had many tasks on their trip.
“One thing we collected data on was different tree types,” Courtney, who aspires to be a physician’s assistant, said. “We had to identify them.”
All of the students agreed that their study of science grew and developed through the work they engaged in on the trip.
High School Biology teacher Mrs. Christine McClure is grateful to have the opportunity to have these types of experiences with her students.
“We would like to thank Mrs. Jamie Reeger for organizing, coordinating and creating such rich learning opportunities at Lacawac for our students and the Western Wayne Education Foundation for their generous grants that continue to fund our experiences,” McClure said. “We would also like to thank our administration for their support of this trip. We look forward to working with Lacawac Sanctuary and Field Station in the future as we continue to promote scientific research and career pathways in our community.”