April 22, 2013

STEM Update

Posted by Derrick Knudsen, STEM Program Director at Peconic Dunes 4-H Camp, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County

For years parents have been asking if their 6 – 11 year-old daughters and sons could join ECO, our in-depth environmental science program. Unfortunately we’ve had to say “no” because the skills and knowledge in ECO were designed for 12-15 year olds. Which is why we are excited to announce our newest program…ECO Jr.!!  ECO Jr. will be taught by our ECO instructors and introduce younger campers to the basics of ecology and field work. Young campers will begin using the same tools that scientists use to study our camp's ecosystems! The foundation our campers build will prepare them for all of our ECO projects, but more importantly, feed their enthusiasm for science and the natural world.

As always, we'll be exploring and studying the Great Pond, the Long Island Sound (Goldsmith’s Inlet), and the Woodlands and Wetlands of Peconic Dunes.

Here’s a glimpse into what our ECO campers will be doing in 2013…
  • Water Quality of the Great Pond – Campers will collect data in different areas of the lake. They will compile the data throughout the summer and share it with the Town of Southold’s Land Preservation Department.

The Great Pond Promotional Video from Peconic Dunes on Vimeo.

  • iMAP Invasives – Campers will identify invasive plants at camp and take their GPS data points. The will enter the species and locations into an online database designed to construct a national map of invasive plants.
  • eBIRD – Campers will conduct a bird count. They’ll enter their data in an online database to help scientists track the migration of bird species.

Woodlands Promotional Video from Peconic Dunes on Vimeo.

  • Eelgrass Restoration Project – This project was implemented last year, and with the effects of Hurricane Sandy, the eelgrass populations could really use our help. Campers will put together “tortillas” (eelgrass woven through burlap discs), which are then taken by divers from the Marine Meadows Program and planted the very next day!

LIS Promotional Video from Peconic Dunes on Vimeo.

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