Eight high school student volunteers from Los Angeles just departed after two weeks of ocean acidification monitoring with Schoodic Institute staff members and Dr. John Cigliano, professor of biology and director of environmental conservation at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA and an adjunct faculty member at Schoodic Institute. The volunteers participated as recipients of the Ignite LA Student Science Award, a fellowship program sponsored by the LA-based Durfee Foundation, in partnership with Earthwatch.
Some of them offered their thoughts on citizen science and their experience in Maine:
“I really love science. Before coming here, my only hands-on experience with science was dissecting a frog. Maine is so much more beautiful than LA. I was so excited to learn about our earth and climate change. This is science! I want to share with my school about [what] we learned here.”
“I wasn’t used to as much field work; to getting out in the field. But it is great because I get to see the different organisms in the intertidal. Also, John and Hannah made these experiences great as well, because they actually made it fun and made it hands-on and not just lecturing.”
“Earthwatch lets us explore science in the field instead of in the classroom. It has had a great impact on us because we were able to see the effects of ocean acidification in our environment. Now that I see how close you can be to nature and how you can affect the world, it really inspires me for college. I definitely want to go to college for biology.”
“Earthwatch is the first volunteer project that I’ve done in my life. For the longest time, I’ve wondered what I’m going to do with my life; I’m going to be a senior, going to be applying for colleges soon, got to find something to major in. But living in L.A., there’s definitely not as much vegetation as out here. And the only real exposure I’ve had to science was in school, in a classroom. The most experience I’ve had with biology is looking at fish in a fish tank. So coming out here was a great experience for me. I learned that I hate mosquitoes, which don’t really exist in L.A., but I’ve learned that a career in environmental science or conservation would be a really viable career option for me, and Earthwatch, their project and expedition, really opened my eyes to that. I really learned a lot.”