Throop Lab Outreach

Throop Labber Jane Smith created this illustration for a project with Asombro Institute.

Outreach funded by the National Science Foundation
These outreach activities are made possible by funding from a National Science Foundation (NSF) Career Grant (DEB 0953864; Soil organic carbon dynamics in response to long-term ecological changes in drylands: an integrated program for carbon cycle research and enhancing climate change literacy).

Locally Relevant Carbon Cycle Education
We are collaborating with the Asombro Institute for Science Education to develop classroom activities on carbon cycling that are relevant to the Chihuahuan Desert. In fall 2012, AISE staff members are visiting 7th grade classrooms in the Las Cruces school district to present our carbon cycle activity. In this activity, students explore the exchange of carbon between respiring animals and photosynthesizing plants in investigations using their own breath, plants, carbon dioxide sensors, and data loggers. Students use hand-held digital data loggers and CO2 sensors to measure, record, and analyze the how respiration and photosynthesis change CO2 concentration.  They then participate in a fun, bean-bag carbon cycle game (“Sink the Carbon”) in which groups play the role of carbon sources and sinks in the Chihuahuan Desert.

Photo by Anna Keener

NSF Research Experiences for Teachers
Keska Kemper (Cleveland High School, Portland, OR) is working with us in 2012-2013 though an NSF Research Experiences for Teachers program. Keska is joining us in the field to learn about research techniques in ecology. Heather and Keska are developing hands-on carbon cycling activities for Cleveland students.

Outreach in collaboration with the Ecological Society of America
Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity and Sustainability (SEEDS) is an education program of the Ecological Society of America (ESA).

The NMSU Ecology Club is a chapter of the SEEDS program. We welcome all NMSU undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in ecology.  We meet regularly to discuss career options in ecology, hear guest speakers, and go on local field trips. We have a strong focus on community outreach, particularly in environmental, ecological, and sustainability education.

NMSU students: please send me an email if you would like to be put on our mailing list to receive information on club meetings, field trips, and internship opportunities.