Archbold Biological Station
Biennial Report 1995-1996
P.O. Box 2057 Lake Placid, Florida 33862 USA
Phone: 863-465-2571 FAX: 863-699-1927
back to biennial 1995 home page
Held 8 summer day-camp sessions: 125 children attended.
Presented 56 Station group tours and off-Station talks for 1700 adults.
Trained 76 Lake Placid Middle School Honor Society students to become peer teachers in environmental education.
Guided 101 elementary classes through Florida Ecology: Getting to Know the Real Florida field trip.
Presented 9 secondary education classes for studies in Environmental Science.
Guided 8 middle school students in the production of 4 issues of Scrub Scribe: Archbold Field Trip Follow up by Students for Students newsletters.
Published "The Florida Scrub Coloring Book" in conjunction with St. Johns River Water Management District.
Developed and conducted an evaluation of the 4th grade environmental education program.
Attended and helped with 6 Middle School Science Fairs and Career Days.
Education Coordinator: Nancy D. Deyrup
All 4th grade students of Highlands County are introduced to the Florida scrub when their school participates in "Florida Ecology: Getting to Know the Real Florida," the Stations unique environmental education program initiated in 1989. During 199596, more than 2,800 elementary students from Highlands County, as well as some from Hendry and Polk counties, visited Archbold for the field trip component of this program (see Appendix H). The Florida Ecology program consists of four classroom days of Station-developed filmstrips, activities, and discussion conducted by the teacher, followed by a field trip to the Station comprising four activities: a Scrub Hunt; an hours walk through the scrub looking for natural objects; an investigation of the weekly weather conditions at the weather station; a Track Census, location and identification of animal tracks; and the Scientists Lab, an exciting hands-on exploration of plant and animal artifacts.
Throughout the 1995 and 1996 school years, a total of 725 hours of help was contributed by Lake Placid Middle School Honor Society students. Community service is a requirement for Honor Society membership. Most students volunteer to participate in the Stations environmental education program as assistants during the field trip component. However, some middle school honor students work together to write and produce a newsletter, The Scrub Scribe, Archbold Field Trip Follow up for Students by Students, for the 4th graders who have visited the Station during the environmental education program. The Scrub Scribe includes: articles on animals and plants; an interview with an Archbold scientist; letters, drawings, and poems about Floridas scrub by students; and a scrub-related word search or crossword puzzle. Also, a team of six honor students developed a display for the Scientists Lab, "Color in Nature," that addresses topics such as camouflage, warning coloration, and courtship.
During June and July, four, one-week Ecology Day-camp sessions were held each year for children ages 712 years who love the outdoors and enjoy nature activities. Daily, the children are introduced to research by Archbolds scientists and learn about nature by participating in environmental education activities with the education staff. A safari to the Buck Island Ranch and a night-hike with a sleep-over are among the highlights.
A volunteer program was established in January 1995 with 38 volunteers. During 199596, 63 volunteers donated 9,375 hours (equivalent to 4.9 staff years) of help over and above the hours contributed by the Lake Placid Middle School Honor Society students. Volunteers assisted in a variety of areas including research at the Station and the MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center (MAERC), administration, education, library, and collections. Special events are planned for volunteers including the initial clean-up of trash at the Lake Placid Scrub Preserve, and "Star Night," a volunteer appreciation celebration.
In 1996, graduate student Jennifer Kreps (Florida Inst. of Technology), was selected as a Station intern [internships] to develop and conduct an evaluation of the 4th grade environmental education program as part of her Masters degree requirements in Science Education. The preliminary evaluation of her data shows that the Stations environmental education program positively affects a students knowledge about Florida scrub.
The "Florida Scrub Coloring Book" was published in 1995 in cooperation with the St. Johns River Water Management District, and 20,000 copies were printed and distributed to teachers and interested individuals. The first printing was quickly depleted and a second, slightly revised edition, was printed by St. Johns District in 1996. Station Research Biologist Mark Deyrup, and graduate intern Kevina Vulinec, drew the pictures and wrote the text for the book. Education Assistant Charlotte Wilson designed and colored the cover. The coloring book is an excellent source of Florida scrub information and even includes unpublished research information. Highlands County teachers use the coloring book in conjunction with the 4th grade environment education program as a follow up activity after the field trip to the Station.
Other Programs. The Education Office works with school groups of all ages and affiliations. In addition to the 4th grade program, Education conducts programs for pre-school children, scouts, 4-H, private schools, and home schoolers. In conjunction with MAERC, a special "Ranch Safari" was planned for all 5th graders of Lake Country Elementary School. Local high school students are often seen at the Station working with Staff and visiting scientists through Lake Placid High Schools Executive Internship Program. Station staff help students train for Envirothon-competitions that stress knowledge and problem-solving in five areas of the environment; wildlife, aquatics, forestry, soils, and a yearly revolving topic. Also, many Station scientists volunteer their time as judges for County and Regional Science Fairs and for Career Days.
Community outreach continues through the year with Station group tours, off-site talks to community organizations, exhibits at environmental fairs, the self-guiding nature trail, and the native plant butterfly garden. During 1995, six Station scientists gave lectures for the South Florida Community Colleges Lifetime Learners Institute and sparked much interest in Floridas scrub.
Lohrer, F.E. (Editor).
1998. Archbold Biological Station, Biennial Report 1995-1996. Archbold Biological Station,
Lake Placid. 62 pp.
© Archbold Biological Station, 1998 October.
Webmaster: Fred Lohrer.