During the summer of 2015 and for the first time, BES partnered with the Parks & People Foundations’ Branches program to bring BES research to the level of school-age students in our first ever, Branches – Young Environmental Scientists program (Branches YES). For five weeks over the summer, five Baltimore City Public School students participated in intensive ecological research with the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, collecting data in the same locations and using the same protocols as our scientists. The students completed three short field campaigns:
1) A study of pollinators and plants in vacant lots in West Baltimore
2) A study of the presence of mosquito populations in a West Baltimore neighborhood
3) A stream habitat assessment at several locations where BES researchers routinely collect water chemistry data
The students spent time with BES researcher, Dr. Chris Swan, analyzing and interpreting their data.
This program ran again in 2016, 2017 and 2018 engaging 4-6 Baltimore City Public High School students per year in protocols collecting ecological data across the City.