High school students from the regions surrounding Lassen Volcanic National Park will be helping out the NASA Astrobiology Institute with some research by hiking and snowshoeing into the hydrothermal areas of the park to gather data.
From a NASA Astrobiology Institute newsletter:
NAI ARC Team Initiates New Education Project with Lassen
Scientists from the NAI Ames Team have teamed with rangers from Lassen Volcanic National Park to create the Lassen Astrobiology Internship Program. Ten high school sophomores from the rural areas around the park will hike – and later on in the year, snowshoe – to three locations within the Park several times throughout the 2008-09 school year, collecting water samples and other data at various locations. The samples will be analyzed, and the data provided to researchers on the NAI Ames Team to increase their knowledge about the microbial populations in the diverse hydrothermal areas and extreme environments within the Park.
NAI Ames Team scientists visited with the students in late October to begin training them on the use of the sampling equipment. Lassen and NAI education specialists were on hand to facilitate. This project is strengthened by a special emphasis on promoting continued science education and science career choices.
I think this is a great way to mix science educating with getting students out on the hiking trails. And given that they’ll also be snowshoeing into Lassen Volcanic National Park this winter, the kids will be getting some winter survival skills too.
I’m concerned that the younger generation is not spending enough time outdoors. What suggestions do you have for increasing the number of the young people on the trails? What programs do you know about that have worked well?