Real Data Collection.
THE PARTNERSHIPS: Students + scientists
Learning the nature and practice of science is a critical skill for students. One of the most powerful tools for learning is getting involved in real research. By collecting data that contributes to ongoing projects, students and teachers do more than glimpse the scientific process. They participate in it.
On all of EPI's travel programs, we partner with researchers who are conducting on-going ecological studies. These are world-class scientists, studying rare and endangered wildlife throughout the Americas. Working on their projects is nothing short of inspiring.
In Baja, California, for example, we partner with one of the leading humpback whale researchers in the world, Jorge Urban Ramirez from the University of California Baja Sur. He studies the migratory patterns, song structures, and mating behaviors of humpbacks in the Gulf of California. On the Baja Whale Ecology Program, students accompany researchers on boats, heading out to I.D. humpbacks, collect behavioral data, and observe these mysterious animals.
MUTUALISM AS A MODEL: True collaboration
EPI's scientific partnerships are designed to be mutually beneficial for students, teachers, and scientists. The educational value of doing real research is clear. This is participatory learning at its best. But just as important, the data that students collect on our programs help scientists carry out their work.
In Yellowstone, EPI partners with the Yellowstone National Park Bison Team. The lead investigator, Chris Geremiah, is studying how bison and other mammals use resources across the park. The partnership with EPI has enabled the team to collect data from a wider range of sites. Students and teachers are an extra pair of hands, they're the "boots on the ground" in a progressive, citizen science-esque model that allows for more comprehensive sampling.