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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

STOCKTON FWO: Dinner with a Scientist

Region 8, November 17, 2011
Patricia Brandes with students attending Dinner with a Scientist.
Patricia Brandes with students attending Dinner with a Scientist. - Photo Credit: n/a

By the Stockton Fish and Wildlife Office

The Stockton Fish and Wildlife Service Office participated in the San Joaquin County Office of Education’s 14th Annual Dinner with a Scientist, held on November 17, at the Wentworth Education Center in Stockton, Calif. The Dinner with a Scientist event is a forum for local middle and high school students to interact with scientists from different disciplines.

Pat Brandes, a fish biologist with the Stockton FWO, was one of 27 scientists who had dinner with approximately 50 teachers and 150 students from San Joaquin County schools. Students and teachers were divided into small groups, with one or two scientists at a table for dinner. The students and their teachers had an opportunity to learn about science and science careers from the scientist sharing their table. The program also included a 20-question science competition. During dessert, students and teachers had an opportunity to move to another table and interview other scientists.

The students and teachers asked the scientists questions about what they did on a daily basis, how they balanced their jobs with their personal life, and what they didn’t like about their jobs. The students and their teachers were interested in the egg development and lifecycle of salmon and the impact of invasive plants and animals on the ecosystem. They were provided with a Striped Bass fishing map and a temporary tattoo of a Chinook salmon or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service logo.

The Dinner with a Scientist program has grown beyond San Joaquin County, and events are now being held in Merced, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne counties as well. The event is a rewarding experience for scientists, teachers, and students.

NOTE: Pat Brandes contributed to this article.

Contact Info: Yvette Sky, (209) 334-2968 x301, yvette_sky@fws.gov