Class efforts have involved projects such as the removal of invasive species that threaten to impede the growth of native plants. But for this project, students, led by Professors Tom Roose and Abbie Schrotenboer, labored to collect wildflower seed to later sow in the new basin by the Trinity Athletics and Recreation Complex and at the site of the Rt. 83 athletic fields.
Aiding in the project was Gareth Blakesley, natural resources manager at Lake Katherine, a local nature center that often partners with Trinity.
Dr. Schrotenboer, assistant professor of biology, said initiatives to integrate ecological stewardship into the biology curriculum stem not only from professors’ goals to provide hands-on learning but from the stewardship efforts of the Campus Ecological Stewardship Advisory Group (CESAG) of which both professors are members. CESAG’s guiding principles include environmental restoration, sustainability, and education, while their standard practices involve restoring habitats, such as native plants, and sustaining the campus forest.
“These types of projects give students a hands-on experience that in the end helps them retain knowledge,” said Melissa Kiel ’14 of Kalamazoo, Michigan, who hopes to see more projects like this.
“Learning outside of the classroom is always an interesting experience. You can learn about certain types of plants and invasive species inside the classroom, but until you venture outdoors, you don’t understand the reality of the lesson.”