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Biologists Create a Lasting Impression on Missouri Students
Midwest Region, May 22, 2009
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State interpreter Kathryn DiFoxfire helps Missouri students navigate through Devil's Icebox cave at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park on an outing hosted by the Service's Columbia Field Office. USFWS photo by James Maritz
State interpreter Kathryn DiFoxfire helps Missouri students navigate through Devil's Icebox cave at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park on an outing hosted by the Service's Columbia Field Office. USFWS photo by James Maritz - Photo Credit: n/a
Missouri school kids learn about impacts to streams on a field trip hosted by Columbia Field office staff.  USFWS photo by James Maritz
Missouri school kids learn about impacts to streams on a field trip hosted by Columbia Field office staff.  USFWS photo by James Maritz - Photo Credit: n/a
Rick Hansen, CMFO Biologist, used nets to search the stream for fish.
photo by James Martiz
Rick Hansen, CMFO Biologist, used nets to search the stream for fish. photo by James Martiz - Photo Credit: n/a

Sixty fifth graders hit the trails to explore Missouri streams and caves on May 22, 2009.  Students from Lee Expressive Arts School joined the Columbia Missouri Ecological Services Field Office on a field trip to Rockbridge State Park.  Hilary Shaw, Outreach and Education Specialist, organized the field trip with the CMFO staff as a continuation of the SEEDS program (Students, the Environment and Endangered Species).  Each year the SEEDS program strives to engage children with nature and the outdoors through classroom visits and field trips.

  Kathryn DiFoxfire, Interpretive Resource Technician for the Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, took students to the Devil's Icebox cave.  Students armed with helmets and flashlights explored the cave with DiFoxfire and learned about the pink planarian, a flat-worm species found only at Devil's Icebox.  Students studied the formation of caves and the federally listed endangered gray bats that live in Devil's Icebox cave.

The students investigated the differences between two streams at the park.  Rick Hansen, Fish & Wildlife Biologist, and Ellie Milligan, Automated Office Assistant, helped students discover a stream that had little diversity of species due to human impacts on water quality. Fish and Wildlife Biologists Jane Ledwin and Andy Roberts hiked with the students to another stream, as students began to pick up rocks and search with nets they found crayfish, minnows, and many bugs.  This comparison allowed students to understand the impact that humans have on aquatic habitats.  One student said, "I learned that there are healthy streams and polluted streams.  In the polluted streams there is not as much life."  Hopefully the fifth grade student's experiences with the SEEDS program will foster a lifetime of interest in the outdoors. 


Contact Info: Hilary Shaw, 573-234-2132 ext. 174, Hilary_Shaw@fws.gov



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