GTIP 2007 Interns

Lee Ann Daugherty, Butler County High School, Morgantown, KY
Martha Sampson Tudor, Greenwood High School, Bowling Green, KY
Sarah Talley, Barren County Middle School, Glasgow, KY

What activities occurred this summer?

During the summer of 2007, the Geoscience-Teachers-in-the-Park worked on a variety of
projects. These projects included:
  • Photographed and obtained GPS coordinates for the springs located within Mammoth Cave National Park
  • Participated in a water monitoring project looking for E. coli within Mammoth Cave and at the cave's Historic Entrance
  • Documented with photographs and GPS coordinates the location of old wells and cisterns located throughout Mammoth Cave National Park.
  • Assisted with producing several GIS layers in ArchView
  • Began work on documenting a surface version of the Mammoth Cave Historic Tour Route. (This project proposes to identify the surface locations of known cave features such as Fat Man's Misery, the Rotunda, Bottomless Pit, Methodist Church, etc.) The project is ongoing, and when completed will help visitors relate the geological features they see on the surface with the cave features they find underground.
  • Participated in a long-term cave cricket monitoring program (comparison of cave population numbers to temperatures and humidity levels, as well as manmade vs. environmental influences on populations).
  • Participated in a long-term Allegheny woodrat monitoring program (compares woodrat use of managed cave entrances versus natural cave entrances)
  • Collected data on the survivorship and health of re-introduced American Chestnut trees. (Comparative location data included aspects, soils, moisture levels, etc.)
  • Assisted in a national bird banding project
  • Developed a classroom lesson plan focused on the various types of scientists that work within the park

What activities are planned for the academic year?

Some of the ways that the teachers are sharing their experiences with their students
  • The use of personal experiences and locally based, on-going scientific studies as real-world examples for their students.
  • Working with Mammoth Cave (MACA) and Mammoth Cave International
  • Center for Science and Learning (MCICSL) staff to provide hands-on learning and volunteer opportunities for their students.
  • Coordinate with school administration, MACA, and MCICSL staff to arrange volunteering / job shadowing opportunities for several high school freshmen girls who have expressed strong interests in pursuing scientific careers
  • Use of the newly developed "What is a scientist?" lesson plan to show students that scientists are not necessarily the stereotypical "old guy in a lab coat with a chemistry set." It is hoped the lesson plan will ignite an interest in science among their students and encourage them to pursue scientific careers.
  • Presentation at the Kentucky Association for Environmental Education (KAEE) state conference to let other formal and non-formal Kentucky state educators know about the GeoScience-Teachers-in-the-Park program, the types of research being conducted at Mammoth Cave National Park, and ways to obtain updated scientific information and assistance in teaching the geosciences to students.
  • Additional community presentations planned