Dates: July 18-29, 2016
Growing crops to feed Alaskans is an important endeavor, and researchers at the Fairbanks Experiment Farm have been at work for over 100 years to help answer questions and solve problems for growers who make their living providing food and feed to Alaskans. Alaska is a cold place for most of the year, but during the summer months of the midnight sun Alaskan crop growth explodes. Come to the Fairbanks Experiment Farm and learn the science behind growing plants in Alaska.
We will be based at the Georgeson Botanical Garden and totally immersed in practical activities, such as building a compost pile, observing beneficial insects and pests, and practicing ways to propagate plants. There will also be projects in the greenhouse such as seed starting and nutrition experiments, as well as time in the laboratory using microscopes and other tools to identify plant diseases and insect pests. Not only will students learn the basics of growing plants, they will also be able to contribute to ongoing research projects, such as collecting insect pests of peonies for life cycle studies and taking plant growth and yield measurements for vegetable variety trials.
Students will have opportunities throughout the module to pose questions and design simple experiments to learn more about their interests in the areas of plant nutrition, seed development, insect-plant interactions, and plant propagation. By the end of the module students will have a broad understanding of what it takes to grow plants from seed to fruit.
Darcy currently works as an Integrated Pest Management technician with the Georgeson Botanical Garden, where she provides information to local farmers and gardeners about insect pests and plant diseases. She graduated from UAF with a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management and has been an educator throughout her career. Darcy has experience teaching all ages of students, including serving as the Fairbanks area FFA advisor from 2010-2011, teaching plant-related lessons through the Cooperative Extension Service and Master Gardener program, and training educators through Project Learning Tree and Project WET. She is excited to work with ASRA to bring more awareness about Alaskan agriculture to another generation.
Molly is a PhD student at UAF studying Hydrology and Engineering at the International Arctic Research Center. She has a Bachelors of Science from Rochester Institute of Technology in Civil Engineering Technology and a Masters of Science from Colorado State University in Watershed Science. She has worked in the field researching soil science, hydrology, forestry, and plant biology for several National Parks and National Forests, and for private consulting, in Alaska, Colorado, Wyoming, California, and in Mongolia as a US Fulbright Scholar. She has also designed irrigation systems for community gardens, is a member of the UAF community garden, and has a garden at home in Fairbanks that seems to get bigger every summer. She has also worked for several years in K-12 science outreach for UAF and the Girl Scouts, and is earning a Graduate Certificate in Science Teaching and Outreach from UAF. She is looking forward to working with students this summer and showing them the fun of getting your hands dirty and being outside.
Kendra came to Alaska in 2000 to attend graduate school at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Her academic background is in plant and soil ecology. She has been working for The Extension Office at UAF since 2007, when she was hired to assist in conducting a fruit tree trial on the UAF Experiment Farm. She has also spent a few winters on the Big Island, Hawaii, working on an organic farm (Sage Farms, Hawi, Hawaii). In 2009, she began transitioning to coordinating and facilitating outreach and educational programming with the 4H program at Extension. She has taught a variety of afterschool classes (4th – 10th grade) ranging from a variety of science classes (Plants, Insects, Nutrition) to photography and yoga (RYT 2012) and everything in between! She has also been an instructor for the Upward Bound Program (Summer 2012-2015) and the Elementary Academy for Science and Technology (Summer 2015). She has participated in UAF Community Science nights in Nome (2015) and Kotzebue (2015). In her spare time, Kendra enjoys exploring Alaska and the world. She loves to play soccer, enjoys playing music, dancing and spending time in the wilderness. She is very excited to be a part of ASRA this summer!