We believe strongly in the capacity for scientists to be community educators, so we actively engage in outreach to present our research to the public.

We work with students ranging from pre-school to college, and we’re always seeking opportunities to expand our outreach.

If you’re a member of an organization or school and you think a program featuring some of our research and knowledge on aquatic ecosystems, contaminants, or food webs may be of interest to you, we’d be happy to make it happen. Please contact a member of our team with questions or to schedule an event, and check out some of the programs we’ve recently put together!

A Day in the Water | Pre-K
One day, up to 20 students per 20 minute session | Planning in mid August
In September, we host an annual event where we bring students from the nearby Vucurevich Daycare Center to our artificial ponds site to learn about aquatic organisms. In this immersion experience, the students learned about organisms ranging from snails and dragonflies up through frogs, snakes, and fish through interaction with live animals.

Research Immersion | High School
Several week- several months, up to 5 students at a time | Planning in April for summer work
Students from Vermillion High School who were interested in the effects that invasive Asian Carp have on local ecosystems acted as field and lab technicians in assistance to Jerry Warmbold’s thesis research over the summer. While earning school credit, the students can get wet and dirty out in the field collecting water quality and insect data, setting traps for fish, and making scientific observations. Back in the lab, they sort insect samples and get a feel for the full experience of being a researcher.

Beyond School Adventures Science Program | K-1st Grade
45 minute presentation, 20-30 students | Can present any time of year, live organisms Apr-Sept
Two members of our lab put on a visiting science program during the after-school care at Austin Elementary School in October. The program focused on the differences between larval and adult aquatic insects, and exposed students to different types of aquatic insects, their metamorphosis and their feeding behaviors.

Beyond School Adventures Science Program | 2-5th Grade
45 minute presentation, 20-30 students | Can present any time of year, live organisms Apr-Sept
In another after-school visiting science program, we put a program together for older students that focused on contamination and food webs. We highlighted different types of aquatic pollution, and both top-down and bottom-up trophic cascades that can occur in response to various pollution.

It’s All About Science Festival | All ages
Interactive booth at the It’s All About Science Fest in Sioux Falls | June annually
In June of 2016, we represented the Wesner lab for the first time at this annual event at the Sanford Center in Sioux Falls. Our booth featured live aquatic insects, facts about their lifestyles and habitats, and a look at how different they can be from larval to adult form! 

Field Trip to USD | K-5th Grade
3-4 hour visit, up to 25 students | Can present any time of year, live organisms Apr-Sept
This fall we hosted our first-ever field trip at the University and our artificial ponds site. Students at the Acorn Academy homeschool co-op and their parents came out for an afternoon of science featuring 3 different stations geared toward aquatic insects. With two stations indoors focused on insect metamorphosis and aquatic pollution, and one outside collecting live insects from our ponds, students had a busy afternoon full of information and hands-on activities!


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