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Flagstaff students take part in Southwest Experimental Garden Array project


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  • Karin Eberhard/Flagstaff Unified School District

Flagstaff High School Students

Seven AP Biology and former AP Environmental Science students from Flagstaff High School went to the Mangum Ranch on the Kaibab Plateau of Northern Arizona for a service-learning project from April 22 to 26 with the Southwest Experimental Garden Array (SEGA) Project in partnership with the Grand Canyon Trust, The Arboretum of Flagstaff, the Department of Biology and College of Forestry at Northern Arizona University.

Flagstaff students take part in Southwest Experimental Garden Array project Flagstaff_weather_set_up

Flagstaff High School students setting up a weather monitoring station. Photo courtesy Michael Remke/SEGA Project.

SEGA is designed to study and model the effects on climate change on ecosystems of the U.S. Southwest, as well as, to provide study sites for scientists across the nation.

Once fully operational, there will be 10 sites located in Northern Arizona across an elevation and precipitation gradient and on volcanic and limestone soils.

During the day, students worked on construction of a deer/cattle fence and digging holes for experimental plants at the Whitepockets and Little Mountain sites.

Work was supervised by Grand Canyon Trust staff members, as well as, FHS teachers Linda Lenz and Jeff Taylor

Flagstaff students take part in Southwest Experimental Garden Array project Flagstaff-Fencing-2

Flagstaff High School students work on construction of a deer/cattle fence. Photo courtesy Michael Remke/SEGA Project

In the evenings, students learned about this $4.1 million National Science Foundation grant from the principal investigators including Dr. Amy Whipple, adjunct research professor at Northern Arizona University and director of the Merrian-Powell Research Station, Dr. Kris Haskins, Director of Research at The Arboretum at Flagstaff and adjunct professor of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University, Paul Heinrich, Research Informatics Officer for the Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research at Northern Arizona University, and Mike Remke, Ph.D. candidate in the College of Forestry at Northern Arizona University.

Flagstaff students take part in Southwest Experimental Garden Array project FlagstaffLunch

Flagstaff High School students eat their lunch and enjoy the view. Photo courtesy Michael Remke/SEGA Project

The AP Academy has already arranged for several students to do their Senior Capstone Projects associated with SEGA and the FHS science department will continue this partnership into the future with planned field trips for the AP Biology and AP Environmental Science classes, guest lectures during the school year, and service-learning projects in the spring.