Hiram College


Two senior biology majors, Ryan Astalos and Brian Zilla, recently presented their work with the Igniting Streams of Learning in Science project at the National Nonpoint Source Monitoring Conference.

The conference took place at the Wyndham Cleveland at PlayhouseSquare on Oct. 28, 2013. Astalos and Zilla have been working on the Igniting Streams of Learning in Science project with Professor of Biology Denny Taylor throughout their time at Hiram College.

ISLS Ohio is a collaborative dedicated to improving learning in science. Students at Hiram College have participated in the program, headed on campus by Professor Taylor, along with Kent State University, the University of Akron, local school districts, nonprofits and government agencies.

Astalos and Zilla spent summer 2013 at Hiram College’s James H. Barrow Biological Field Station studying primary headwaters and nonpoint source pollution, which includes things like erosion, insecticides, herbicides and pesticides. They took what they learned in the field, and brought it into area high schools, creating student and teacher field books and teaching at summer institutes.

The work Astalos and Zilla presented at the Cleveland conference focused on their interaction with local schools and how they’ve aimed to turn students into citizen scientists by engaging them in hands-on field work. Their audience included staff from the Environmental Protection Agency, private companies and graduate students.

Astalos, of Bainbridge, and Zilla, of Canton, both plan to pursue graduate school, and said their work with Igniting Streams of Learning in Science has helped them define their intended path.