Field of Science

No idle hands around here!

Part of TPP's job is to keep students from being idle.  Students learn about science and how to do it, how to become a biologist, by basically apprenticing with masters, the faculty.  Fortunately, my research is rather non-technical in the sense of instrumentation and techniques, so there are lots of questions and jobs for students to pursue.  Let's see what they're up to.
Oh, this is really almost unfair, but you never know.  A hort/botany student is working with environmental parameters and plant hormones to see if he can get a particularly stubborn seed to germinate on cue so to speak.  This problem is keeping us from doing several experiments.
A student is interning in the herbarium to learn the basics of curation.  This is not something very many students get interested in, so at times you worry where the next generation of curators is going to come from.  Joining this student are about a dozen mostly retirees who have become master naturalists and are embarking on project to conduct a floristic inventory of local conservation areas, a quite worthy task.  A group of students are doing a live plant growth assay of soil fertility collected from different areas of a prairie dominated by different plants.  Another pair are setting up an experiment to determine if an invasive plant chemically inhibits the growth of other plants. TPP has students interning at a science museum, a zoo, and a nature center.  Now if only there were more of me to go around.  Oh, and then we have people, especially legislators, who think we are only teaching when we are in the classroom and that research plays no educational role.  One does get weary of clueless critics.  

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