Conveners for the Third Annual Freshwater Symposium at Boyd Science Center were Professors Dick and Katy Fralick (Biological Sciences and Childhood Studies, respectively), graduate student Beth Reinhart (M.Ed. Environmental Sciences) and PSU alumna Alicia Carlson, who works for the N.H. Department of Environmental Services.
Dick Fralick says, “Every year I assign groups of students to study lakes and monitor things like oxygen, temperature, plankton tows, organisms and other biological data. They spend the semester researching these sites and then present their information to the class at the end of the course. But one day I thought, why don’t we open it up to the public. Little by little the project came together.”
The mix of student and professional presenters gives PSU students an opportunity to practice their skills as presenters and to see professional presentations. Those working in the field are able to maintain ties with PSU and keep up with research being done at the undergraduate level, and to mentor the students.
Carlson said it’s important for students to see what is going on in the real world—what other organizations are doing. Students Katie O’Donnel and Nicole Keener said that doing presentations helps keep them focused and serious about their research because they know they’ll be presenting the results of their work in a public forum.
The 2003 symposium was also open to Childhood Studies majors, according to Katy Fralick. One presentation included information suitable as a classroom module, with a handout for teachers. Katy says, “It is important for us to keep talking to the public about science. Our students need to see that—there is such a need for classroom teachers. And we are reaching beyond our own students to the public for this symposium. Education is lifelong.”
Professor Emeritus Larry Cushman, Sciences, PSU.
Rachael Dube, Jeremy Mears, Christopher Martin, Christopher Heath, Julicia Ridings, Catherine Zink, Scarlette Scarborough, Mike Madore, Katie O’Donnell and Nicole Keener PSU students, Biological Sciences; Beth Reinhart, PSU graduate student, M.Ed. Environmental Sciences.
Matt LaCroix, PSU student, Geography.
Alicia Carlson, environmentalist and assistant to N.H. Beach Inspection and Clean Vessel Act Programs, N.H. Dept. of Environmental Services.
Nancy E. Christie, president, N.H. Lakes Association, Concord, N.H.
Rick Van de Poll, adjunct faculty, PSU and aquatic biologist, Ecosystems Management, Center Sandwich. N.H.
Jody Connors, Limnology Center director, N.H. Department of Environmental Services.