Improving the sustainability of agricultural systems through educational research: Reflections from an LTER Fellow

Graduate researcher, Craig Kohn, is a dual-Ph.D. candidate with Dr. Andy Anderson in the Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education Department and with the Environmental Science & Policy Program at Michigan State University (MSU). Craig Kohn is a graduate researcher at MSU, working in both environmental science and educational research. One of the key objectives of K-12 schooling in the United States is to prepare students to make more informed decisions in their personal and professional lives. This is particularly relevant for classroom science instruction. In fact, the

Educators gather for Soil Health Field Day at KBS

The following post is by Ava Garrison, graduate student in Jeffrey Conner's lab and Science Education and Outreach Fellow at the Kellogg Biological Station. Sarah Evans and Corinn Rutkoski use a rainfall simulator to show how different soil treatments can affect water runoff and groundwater. Educators from across Michigan gathered at KBS for the 2019 LTER Soil Health Field Day, which took place on Wednesday, September 11. The day began with the driving question: how can we as educators share soil health science with our students? The attendees, who were educators from all grade levels

International training program promotes sustainable agriculture around the globe

This news piece by KBS LTER volunteer and retired journalist Bill Krasean. For 20 years agricultural scientists, policy makers and program managers have been coming from all over the world to Michigan State University’s Kellogg Biological Station Long-term Ecological Research (KBS LTER) site to study integrated pest management (IPM) and sustainable agriculture practices. Now Michigan State University (MSU) is turning the tables and taking the highly regarded agriculture program to them. "We have built a global network and now we are taking the program overseas so that more people

Close to nature at KBS: reflections from a summer intern

By Alex Whitlow, a 2014 summer intern at the Kellogg Biological Station working with the KBS LTER, MSU Extension, and KBS scientists. Alex's internship was funded by MSU Extension. Until this summer, the vast majority of my life was spent within the deep suburban sprawl of metro Detroit, where shopping malls and large almost-mansion took up most of the landscape. The most I saw of the human and natural ecosystem overlap came from the random, sparsely placed metro parks that served to feed suburbanites their daily dose of nature. Even when I started school at the farm-surrounded Michigan

When science meets policy: a grad student’s experience on the Hill

Every year the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America (ASA-CSSA-SSSA) hold a Congressional Visits Day (CVD) in Washington, D.C. during appropriations season. The goal is to have a strong presence of faculty, students, and crop advisors advocating for agricultural and natural resources research on Capitol Hill. This past March, I had the opportunity to participate in the 2014 CVD. I was one of 18 students who received a Future Leader in Science Award, which included an all expense paid trip to D.C. Awardees were chosen based

Giving thanks for our volunteers

During this Thanksgiving week, we want to express our thanks to volunteers Bill Krasean and Joelyn de Lima who offer helpful hands—and many hours—to our KBS LTER community. Krasean has been volunteering at the KBS LTER for over one year. “I started out volunteering at the KBS Bird Sanctuary,” said Krasean. “Then I found out the KBS LTER could use someone with experience in photography and writing, so I switched.” After working for the Kalamazoo Gazette as a reporter for almost 35 years, he retired in 2005. With an interest in scientific nature and natural history, along with a

K-12 Partnership teachers travel to Alaska for research experience

In July and August of 2012, three K-12 Partnership teachers traveled to Toolik, Alaska to participate in a research experience as a part of the LTER Math Science Partnership. Marty Buehler from Hastings High School, Mary Grintals from Northeast Middle School, and Lisa Wininger from Plainwell Middle School all made the two-day trip up to Toolik to help collect data for the annual “Toolik Pluck.” The teachers spent long hours in the field and the lab collecting plant, soil, and microbial samples. The teachers flew from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Anchorage, Alaska, and finally to Deadhorse,

LTER Math Science Partnership in its final year

For the last five years, KBS K-12 Partnership teachers have been participating in a unique program that involves teachers, scientists, and educators at four LTER sites around the country. The goal is to promote environmental science literacy through the frame of learning progressions. In other words, the project has conducted research about how students make sense of important environmental issues and used that research to help teachers work more effectively with their students about these issues. This program – the LTER Math Science Partnership (MSP) – is a collaboration between four LTER

New fact sheet – Climate Basics

The KBS LTER and Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) have published a new fact sheet, Climate Basics (Extension Bulletin E-3151), as part of a Climate Change and Agriculture fact sheet series. Julie Doll, KBS LTER Education and Outreach Coordinator, and Claire Layman, MSUE Public Policy Specialist, have worked together to engage producers, scientists and other decision-makers in discussions about the relationship between climate change and agriculture. As a result, a series of informational fact sheets have emerged as outreach components of projects funded by Project GREEEN,

Undergraduates conduct biofuel sustainability research at KBS

Cait Gallagher and Tamira Vojnar had the unique experience of gaining hands-on research experience as undergraduates at the KBS LTER this summer. Gallagher and Vojnar were part of the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program that brings undergraduate students from across the country to KBS every summer. The ten-week REU program was funded by the Department of Energy through the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC). Gallagher, a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Vojnar, a junior at Bowdoin College in Maine, were at KBS from May through early