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SUNY-ESF students partner with Syracuse high school students on Science Trails

Partnership between ESF’s Roosevelt Wildlife Station, Beaver Lake Nature Center, The Centers for Nature Education and Corcoran High School

(Syracuse) – SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry students begin field work Saturday, April 8, 2006, to develop interpretive science trails at Corcoran High in the Syracuse City School District, Beaver Lake Nature Center and the Centers for Nature Education to engage students and the visiting public in the process of science through the exploration of conservation themes.

“Trail users discover the process of science by doing science on the trail while learning about conservation issues and ecological concepts,” said D. Andrew Saunders, ESF Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology.

Saunders explained, “Many regional parks and nature centers offer guided and self-guided nature trails for educational opportunities but, no trail exists designed specifically to engage students in the process of science.”

Working with Jim Smith, an environmental science teacher at Corcoran High School, the Directors of Beaver Lake Nature Center and the Centers for Nature Education and Saunders, 30 ESF environmental interpretation students are working to develop interpretive science trails on their respective properties. The students are divided into three teams and will meet the spring semester community service requirement of their course, Principles of Interpretive Programming.

The 12 students participating in the project at Corcoran High School will begin work at 9:30 AM April 8 building stops along the trail and then writing a self-guided trail booklet to explain the stops.

Corcoran High School is located at 919 Glenwood Avenue and the trail entrance is located at the corner of Reinman Road and McDonald Road.

A teacher workshop, “Connecting Classrooms to Nature” April 29, 2006, will implement the trails. The Science Trail project is made possible by funding from the Central New York Community Foundation, Inc., the John Ben Snow Foundation, and a federal grant to the Syracuse City School District.

(contact: Stephen Fox, student supervisor - 315-558-8325)

Release No. 58 April 5, 2006