Posted by: csdailyblog | August 29, 2011

Science in Action on the Conserve School Campus

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At Conserve School, we find all sorts of ways to make environmental science a part of everyday life. For example, this weekend Graduate Fellow Rebecca Deatsman led a plant identification hike on one of Conserve School’s trails. In the pictures, you can see students examining balsam firs, a common species on campus.

Like our other graduate fellows, Rebecca has a strong background in plant and wildlife biology. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a B.A. in Zoology and Environmental Studies, and her senior project focused on the ecology of garlic mustard, an invasive plant that is becoming problematic in the Northwoods. In addition, as part of her undergraduate studies, Rebecca participated in a research project on the long-term effect of cattle grazing on mixed grass prairie in Saskatchewan.

Rebecca is particularly interested in bird research and also worked as a field assistant for a study of bird behavior in the Australian Outback. This week she’ll begin another study related to birds: a Conserve School student project intended to reduce bird injuries and deaths that result from collisions with Conserve School windows. She’ll be testing out with students various ways to help birds notice, and therefore avoid, the many panes of glass on our academic and residential buildings.

A few recent events suggested this project. Last week, students found a small thrush that had died after hitting a classroom window, and a day later, they found a dead kingfisher below one of the dining room windows. We’re all hoping that the project will provide us with helpful information to make these events less frequent.

Visit Rebecca’s blog — “Rebecca in the Woods: Everyday Adventures of a Northwoods Naturalist “– to read more about Conserve School and other natural science topics. Rebecca just posted some terrific pictures of the monarch project going on in our Environmental Science classes right now, plus a detailed description of the project and related scientific info.

– Mary Anna

Thank you to Rebecca for contributing these photos.



  1. Nice to learn about the talented staff that are mentoring our children.

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