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  • 8 Positions: 4 for students in wheelchairs
  • Apply by Sunday, March 15, 2015

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Program Schedule 2014

Week 1 June 2- 8

Training: Climbing, research, chemistry, tardigrade, GIS

Week 2 June 9-15

Baker prairie and Blackjack Battle Field

Week 3 June 16-22

KU field station and forest

Week 4 June 23-29

KSU-Konza Prairie Long-Term Environmental Research site and forest

Week 5 June 30-July 6

Water bear hunt at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Week 6 July 7-13

Baker Woods and Baker Wetlands

Week 7 July 14-20

Water bear hunt at the Overland Park Arboretum

Week 8 July 21-27

SEM imaging at KU Microscopy and Analytical Imagery Lab

Week 9 July 28-August 3

Presentation prep and data finalization

Week 10 August 4-9

Water bear hunt, and presentations at California Academy of Sciences


A Water Bear Hunt

Public outreach, especially to kids who may one day decide to become scientists, is a critical part of the learning process for our students. Our water bear hunts will blend the charisma of tardigrades and the adventure of tree climbing into a public presentation.

In visitors centers of various facilities we will set up a table equipped with our microscopes and live water bears for the public to take a look at. Flanked by SEM images, posters and signage, we will attract the patrons of the museum or arboretum to ask questions and learn about our animals and National Science Federation project.

Where possible we will take visitors into the canopy to actually collect tardigrades from the tree tops.

We know from experience that both kids and their parents want to learn more about the animal that has recently survived exposure to true outer space. This element alone raises many questions about extreme survival, global warming, evolution and the fragility of life on earth.