Callin Switzer presented a poster at ESA

Title: Inspiring future ESA members in elementary or middle school, using place-based inquiry

Many obstacles hold back students’ learning in science in K12 education. Some obstacles, such as school culture and persuasive paradigms that “school is not cool” are a few, long-term hindrances. Only about 1 in 3 middle school students currently achieve proficient scores on state tests. With great burdens and distressing statistics, what can teachers do? They can make short-term changes in pedagogy to increase motivation and responsibility in their students.
This project explored place-based inquiry, which allows students to use the natural environment in which they live as an inquiry-based learning environment. Students gained knowledge and learned skills that could apply across the curriculum. In a low-income middle school, in northwestern New Mexico, 160 students engaged in a mini-unit, broadly exploring the nature of life science. Students designed an observational study – they formulated questions, wrote procedures, collected data, and drew conclusions.
This type of pedagogy was successful for several reasons. First, students were motivated to answer questions that they typically could not answer with a textbook. Second, students gained knowledge and skills that could be used across the curriculum.

Here’s a pdf of the poster: ESA Poster cswitzer 12.pdf

The conference didn’t allow photos in the poster hall, so I took one later! Here’s me with my poster!IMG_7075.JPG

Dataset for Callin’s Compatibility Experiment

Here’s the final dataset for my compatibility experiment. The experiment is officially ended today (I collected the last bit of data). The dataset contains GPS data (column name distBetween). I missed one plant while GPS-ing, so I used the hand-measured data (for flag #6 at Nessman’s). I also corrected several errors in the datasheet.

Data for Analysis — cswitzer — 31 July 2011.csv

We spent some time GPS-ing the plants, so we could get the exact distances between them. Here is a csv file with the gps data.

I have been working on analyzing all my data. I looked at plots of each of my individual sties, as well as all the data combined. The data are almost exactly opposite of what I expected.
Here’s the script I’ve been exploring:

Here’s a picture of Josh, Amber Z, and I out in the field (having a lot of fun).

Characteristics of a good CSV file for R

Edited by cswitzer. 25 July 2011

Characteristics of a good CSV file:
1. Use database format in Excel

See this example:
2. Don’t mix text, integer, or numeric fields (you may enter NA in a numeric field to signify missing data)
3. Remove spaces from excel cells
4. No punctuation in each column name
5. Don’t start a column with a number
6. Column names should be in easily typable format — use capitals at new words and use no spaces (called camelback format)

Hot week in review! (18 July 2011)

We accomplished a lot, even thought the weather was super hot! We even started at 7 am to try to beat the heat.

Monday, (July 18, 2011) was amazing in two different ways. The temperature was in the nineties, but the heat index was over 100 F. We worked in the morning, but by 10 am it was heating up. Because of the humidity, our clothes were soaked through by the end of the day. We measured plants in the common garden on Monday afternoon, and helped Katherine set up cages for her aphid experiments.

Here’s a picture of what we felt like on Monday: (Notice the sweat on Josh’s brow as he measures the height, in centimeters, of the Echinacea head.

Tuesday and Wednesday, we decided not to work outside during the afternoon, so we did morning field work, and then spent time updating the website and computer work during the afternoon.

Here are a few photos of our projects.

1. Callin’s Compatibility Project:

2. Amber Z’s Phenology Project at Staffanson Prairie Preserve

3. Lee’s compatibility project with Coreopsis palmata and Heliopsis helianthoides

4. Katherine’s Experiment with aphids. She set up lots of cages to keep aphids in the right places. Very cool!

5. Josh is helping other groups and helping with the main projects, because he’s waiting for his Big Bluestem and Indian Grass to grow for his experiment (sorry, no photo).

6. Maria has been collecting Dichanthelium seeds for later experiments. Check out the cool purple flower of Dichanthelium in the picture.

7. Amber E. has been collecting pollen from Dalea in lots of different remnants (sorry, no picture). Dalea purpurea is a purple flowering legume.

8. Nicholas is just about to finish all his compatibility experiments between Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea pallida. To do cross pollination experiments, he first paints the bracts that subtend the styles he will pollinate. Aqua is a easy color to recognize on the bracts.

On Thursday and Friday, we were able to do more fieldwork in the common garden, even in the afternoon (common garden measurements and phenology).

We also had time to practice taking some photos for the website. The photo below shows Stuart scouting a good location for a website photo.

Preliminary Analysis for Callin’s Compatibility Experiment

Here is the csv file to use for my compatibility of Echinacea in the remnants.

Preliminary analysis–july 25 2011.csv

Here’s a picture of what we were doing to collect this data!

Practice for Cross Pollination Experiments

Amber Z, Callin, and Nicholas all practiced the bract-painting, pollen-collecting, and pollinating procedure in the common garden today (7 July, 2011). This Echinacea plant now has a nice makeover.

The plant is at row 28, position 860.


Research Draft 3–Callin and Amber and Maria

Here are google doc links to the most up-to-date proposals by Callin, Amber, and Maria

Photos June 2011







Statistics online Textbook

Here’s a link to a useful, online statistics textbook.

Project Proposal–cswitzer–2nd Draft

This is a proposal to a compatibility experiment in the remnants.

Proposal for summer research–2nd Draft–cswitzer.docx

This is the 2nd Draft. Now featuring compatibility vs. isolation.