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NC CSC Supports Opportunities for Youth Science Education

As CSC staff in the North Central Region worked with tribal leaders and land managers last year to prepare for the impacts of climate change, Capacity Building Lead Geneva Chong focused efforts on informing the next generation of resource managers and scientists.

In 2014, Geneva hosted two young women through the City Kids Wilderness Project – a program designed to provide wilderness experience opportunities to underserved students in the Washington D.C. area. The two high school students spent the day with Geneva in Jackson, Wyoming learning how the US Geological Survey uses plant phenology – the timing of things such as green-ups and flowering - to monitor habitat quality. The girls also got an opportunity to learn these skills firsthand, collecting data on American robins, aspen trees, and willow shrubs using a tool developed by the National Phenology Network called Nature’s Notebook.

In addition to her work with City Kids Wilderness Project, Geneva worked with Tanya Petach, an undergraduate from Harvard University, to learn more about plant phenology as an indicator of habitat quality in the North Central region. Geneva and Tanya worked to measure plant greenness using near-surface vegetation sensors and webcams (part of the PhenoCam Network) to monitor sagebrush steppe vegetation near the Red Desert in Wyoming. Tanya also had the opportunity to work with doctoral students at the University of Wyoming on a Range Mule Deer Migration project designed to increase understanding of how plant phenology interacts with animal migration, health, and reproduction.

Both internships connected directly to the NC CSC’s efforts to increase climate science understanding in natural resource management initiatives. The NC CSC looks forward to more opportunities to engage with students in 2015!

For more information on these projects and upcoming opportunities for students, please visit the USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center’s website.