Conducting Research with High School Students: September 19, 2019
Entomology in general, lends itself well to classroom experiments. Insects are easy to raise and care for, have short generation time, and are excellent model systems. Dr. Ashley Goode and Biological Technician Brittany Knowles are working with University School AP biology classes to run small scale experiments in the classroom. These experiments generally look at aspects of captive rearing or dispersal and allow students to get involved with real experiments whose outcomes influence our work at the lab. They design and set-up the experiments and the students monitor and observe the samples and collect data as part of their coursework. They discuss experimental design, insect handing protocols, data collection and analysis, and applications of the experiments with the students. This semester they are working with 20 AP biology students (juniors and seniors) on an experiment to determine female M. scutellaris fecundity when given continual access to males compared to limited access. The results of this study will be useful for determining how to best define successful establishment of this species in new locations.
Nature walk at Highlands Scrub Natural Area and Crystal Lake Sand Pine Scrub: September 21, 2019
Dr. Aaron David led a nature walk at two Broward County Park locations in Pompano Beach listed above. He referred to his September 11th presentation, "Native Plants of the Florida Scrub: how soil microbes support rare endemic species in Florida's ancient ecosystem". His presentation was held at the monthly Florida Native Plant society meeting. He pointed out the aspects of how fragile and unique the Florida scrubs are, and specific plants that are endemic to these locations.
National Public Lands Day: September 28, 2019
Held annually on the fourth Saturday of September, National Public Lands Day aims to encourage Americans to appreciate all our public lands, whether they’re managed at the federal, state, or local level. The observance also calls on us to volunteer for one of the many projects going on at public lands, like helping with trail maintenance or tree planting. This year three volunteers from our lab participated with enhancing the nature trail at Dr. Von Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park in Dania Beach. In the picture on the left, starting left to right is Dr. Aaron David, Eileen Pokorny, and Dr. Greg Wheeler. We encouraged other participants from the local Master Gardener class as well. The picture on the right is Ranger Doug, two other volunteers, Eileen Pokorny, Dr. Aaron David and Master Gardener Gerritt Stryker by the newly installed nature trail sign.