The Jasper Ridge Global Change Experiment
Education and outreach
The Jasper Ridge Global Change Experiment (JRGCE) represents a unique opportunity to introduce people to global change in general, the potential impact of climate change on ecosystems, and the challenges of field experimental programs. As a result, JRGCE has been integrated into several types of programs focused on several audiences. Current activities involve the general public, high school classes, and university classes.
Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve offers docent-led tours to the general public. The docent training program includes background information and training on global change and the JRGCE. Docents are given a through briefing on the experiment at the field site and encouraged to introduce tour groups to the JRGCE whenever possible. In addition, when large public groups visit Jasper Ridge, they are often introduced to the experiment through open house forums and visits to the experiment site.
High school outreach programs have been built around the project staffıs experience with teachersı programs and high schools with environmental studies programs. The goal is to provide science training through some combination of curriculum support, demonstration tours, field exercises, opportunities to analyze field data, and internship opportunities.
Woodside High Schoolıs Environmental Studies classes under the leadership of teacher Ann Akey have attended both classroom introductory lectures and demonstration tours. They will also receive additional background training in the experimentıs design and data collection methods leading to an opportunity to independently analyze field data such as video images of root growth.
The Quest Scholars Program is a five-week summer program at Stanford for gifted, low income, minority high school juniors and seniors who are interested in the environment. Two members of the JRGCE staff have participated in this program in recent years. They intend to expand activities involving student learning opportunities with the experiment.
Castilleja School is an all-girls middle and high school in the San Francisco Bay Area, which offers a course in Ecology and Environmental Studies under the science department chair, Judith Wagner. Wagnerıs classes have had demonstration tours of the JRGCE in the past. Wagner is hoping to develop a research course in the future and has expressed a strong interest in internship with JRGCE as an option for students taking the course.
Stanford University students can receive exposure to JRGCE in several ways. Some learn through participation in the docent program. Others visit the site on demonstration tours or during field work that is part of a course program. Students also have opportunities to work on the experiment. Tasks often involve installing and maintaining equipment, data collection, or laboratory analytical tasks. A number of Stanford graduate students and postdoctoral fellows work on the JRGCE team and conduct their own research programs related to global change at the experiment site.