BFA High School Students Present Research at American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting

In its 48th year the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting is the largest earth and space science meeting in the world.  This year found 24,500 scientists representing 39 different countries in San Francisco, CA.

( BFA students Sophie Lee and Rebekah Larose with Science teacher Tom Lane shown at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, CA during the American Geophysical Union 2015 Fall Meeting.)

BFA students Sophie Lee and Rebekah Larose with Science teacher Tom Lane shown at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, CA during the American Geophysical Union 2015 Fall Meeting.

BFA juniors Sophie Lee and Rebekah Larose were among those scientists.  They presented their research on phosphate movement in the Lake Champlain basin as part of the Bright STaRS Program. Their research is conducted under the guidance of high school science teacher Tom Lane through the VT EPSCoR Center for Workforce Development and Diversity Program at St. Michael’s College.

Inside Moscone South Convention Building in San Francisco, CA.  Half of the poster hall in view.

Inside Moscone South Convention Building in San Francisco, CA.  Half of the poster hall in view.

At the AGU meeting the students communicated their research by poster presentation.  Their poster titled Microbial Activity and Phosphate examined whether there was a correlation between microbial activity in the toe, bank and transition zones and phosphate in 2nd level tributaries to Lake Champlain.

Sophie Lee  (left) and Rebekah Larose explain their research to Dr. Sue Natali, (Woods Hole Research Center) at AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Sophie Lee  (left) and Rebekah Larose explain their research to Dr. Sue Natali, (Woods Hole Research Center) at AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Rebekah and Sophie used the Global Decomposition Program protocol shown to them by Dr. Sue Natali during a visit to Woods Hole Research Center on Cape Cod last spring to measure microbial activity in the riparian zone.

Left to right, Rebekah Larose and Sophie Lee describe their research to the President of the American Geophysical Union, Geophysicist Carol Finn at a luncheon for student researchers.

Left to right, Rebekah Larose and Sophie Lee describe their research to the President of the American Geophysical Union, Geophysicist Carol Finn at a luncheon for student researchers.

In addition to presenting their research students Sophie Lee and Rebekah Larose were able to meet scientists from around the world such as Dr. Vladimir Romanovsky world a renown permafrost researcher, and attend oral presentations and talks by such notable speakers as South African-born Canadian-American business magnate, engineer, inventor and investor Elon Musk and Al Gore, former vice president and environmental activist.

BFA students Sophie Lee and Rebekah Larose deploy Global Decomposition bags in the Bank Zone at Black Creek in E. Fairfield during July 2015.

BFA students Sophie Lee and Rebekah Larose deploy Global Decomposition bags in the Bank Zone at Black Creek in E. Fairfield during July 2015.

Graph showing microbial activity (corresponds directly to mass loss) in the Bank Zone compared to phosphate levels in Mill Brook (Fairfax), Black Creek (E. Fairfield), Allen Brook (Williston), Indian Brook (Essex Jct.) and Pond Brook (Colchester)

Graph showing microbial activity (corresponds directly to mass loss) in the Bank Zone compared to phosphate levels in Mill Brook (Fairfax), Black Creek (E. Fairfield), Allen Brook (Williston), Indian Brook (Essex Jct.) and Pond Brook (Colchester)

Phosphate levels were analyzed at Johnson State College from water samples they collected at Mill Brook (Fairfax) and Black Creek (E. Fairfield) at two-week intervals during the past year.

Rebekah Larose and Sophie Lee collect water samples at Black Creek in E. Fairfield for phosphate analysis.

Rebekah Larose and Sophie Lee collect water samples at Black Creek in E. Fairfield for phosphate analysis.

Their research may help answer important questions regarding how phosphate moves into Lake Champlain and lead to new ways to mitigate phosphate movement and minimize the pollution created by its excess.

Target 2 – Leadership. FWSU students and staff lead innovative, personalized learning opportunities, both locally and globally.

Action Step – Ensure students take a leadership role in their learning using rich, authentic questions, problems they identify, and diverse resources to formulate solutions. Shift teacher roles from director of teaching to facilitator of learning.

Indicator of Success – Students and staff act as coaches, facilitators, collaborators, and co-learners in a personalized learning environment.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s