Hiram College

Since its establishment 50 years ago, Hiram’s James H. Barrow Biological Field Station has strived to establish leadership roles for undergraduates in scientific research and engage area communities with K-12 outreach programs. Known as citizen science research, this type of work underlines the mission of the Learning Streams Institute (LSI).

Though the seasonal program ended several months ago, the research continues.  This past week, Hiram College students, alumni, and faculty discussed their LSI work at three separate conferences.

Brian Corbin ’21, Kerry Dombroski ’21, and Abeera Mehmood ’18 presented a poster at the fifth annual Kent Water and Land Symposium at Kent State University. Andy Lisak ’17 also helped with the research and poster preparation. Their submission, “Fostering understanding of sustainable urbanism by empowering students to address human induced environmental problems,” focused on the students’ roles as LSI near-peer mentors. Specifically, they worked with American, Pakistani, and Dominican high school students to investigate and help solve local environmental issues. The presentation also spotlighted the students’ work in Lahore, Pakistan through the U.S. State Department-sponsored program, Connecting Watershed Partners.

LSI leaders presented their research and methods to fellow educators at the 42nd annual 101 Alternatives to the Chalkboard Conference at Camp Kern in southwest Ohio on October 7. Denny Taylor, Ph.D., professor of biology, and Chris Carman of Kent Roosevelt High School, spoke about the benefits of high school-university partnerships. They also gave examples on incorporating Ohio Environmental Protection Agency protocols into studies about wetlands and streams.

“Chris is a great example of a teacher inspired to incorporate hands-on learning into his teaching, a direct outcome of experiential education opportunities at the field station,” Taylor says, noting that he and Carman, who directs two weeks of the summer program, have worked together through LSI for 11 years

Also, Hiram alumna Lucy Chamberlain ’76 joined Taylor and LSI faculty colleagues Sonya Wisdom of Kent State University and Jim Bader of Case Western Reserve University to lead a workshop for middle school teachers on October 9.

The workshop, “Middle School Legacies – Never too soon to start community engagement,” involved teachers from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and emphasized ways young scientists could  contribute to environmental  projects.

All three presentations highlighted the goals of both the LSI and James H. Barrow Biological Field Station to engage the community in hands-on learning and collaboration to help solve the complex issues of climate change.

The research was generously funded by the Paul and Maxine Frohring Foundation, the United States Department of State, and Counterpart International.