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Summer 2012 Research Internship Opportunity for High School Students

The internship program was run at the Turnbull Laboratory for Ecological Studies and at EWU and was generously funded by the Charlotte Martin Foundation and other sponsors (see below).

The high school students worked closely with Cody Schoonover, a graduate student in Biology, and with me to learn field and lab techniques related to water quality and freshwater invertebrate communities, principles of experimental design, and data analysis and presentation. They designed and conducted experiments exploring two challenges facing freshwater organisms in the Inland Northwest: invasive fish species and heavy metal pollution. The metal-related work is part of a larger project in which we are testing whether we can use freshwater invertebrates, especially clams, to understand the environmental impacts of the mining waste from the EPA's Bunker Hill Superfund Site (you also can learn about this site from the DEQ website).

The students also interacted with a variety of professionals who have incorporated stewardship of the environment into their careers. The students visited with EWU faculty, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the refuge staff at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, the Washington State Department of Ecology and the Spokane County Water Resource Center.

You can read about our results in our peer-reviewed publication in Northwest Science!

Wieker, JE, Schoonover, CM, Gaines, RK, Jones, A, Mattes, C, Moses, K, Perry, J, Prior, K, Smith, S, Swilling, B, Rule, M, Joyner-Matos, J. 2016. Effects of introduced brook stickleback (Culaea inconstans) on benthic macroinvertebrate communities in the nearshore area of lentic systems in Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, Washington. Northwest Science. 90:278-289.


Here are some photos from our field activities, in which we are getting comfortable in our super-cool waders, learning how to walk in the water without falling, and perfecting our sampling skills.

Students in waders Students in waders 2
TLES Pond view In TLES Pond 2
TLES Pond 3 Hunting for fish
Looking in net Wading across water

The bugs

"The Bugs!" Courtesy of Cody Schoonover.













































Here are some photos from our lab activities, in which we are learning about water quality and learning to look at aquatic invertebrates in the trays and on the microscopes!

Lab work on pH Lab work on pond water
Lab work on pond water 2 Lab work on scopes


Take a look at our poster of pictures - it shows lab work, field trips, and field collecting.


Thanks again to our awesome sponsors: the Charlotte Martin Foundation, CH2M Hill, Costco Wholesale Corporation, and the EWU College of Science, Health, and Engineering, Office of Grants and Research Development, Department of Biology, Motor Pool, and University Bookstore - EWU.

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