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Center scientists conduct field course for students at Quileute Tribal School

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Dr. Kyes with students during a field exercise involving identification of local marine biodiversity.

Dr. Randy Kyes, head of the WaNPRC’s Division of Global Programs, and colleague Dr. Pensri Kyes offered a three-day, mini-field course titled “College Prep-Field Course in Conservation Biology & Global Health: At the Human-Environment Interface” for 18 middle and high school students from June 4 to June 6 at the Quileute Tribal School in La Push, Washington.

The course, modeled after current UW-level field courses, consisted of daily lectures and related field and lab exercises. Lecture material was presented at an advanced (college-prep) level to give the students a feel for what college-level lectures are like.

“By exposing the students to college-level material, we hope dispel any myths about what a college course is like and in turn give them the confidence to pursue post-secondary education in the sciences,” Kyes said.

Topics included an introduction to conservation biology and global health, field study methods, management and conservation strategies, primate behavior and ecology, the human-wildlife interface, issues in global health, and animal research and translational science.

Based on the success of this first college-prep field course, Kyes plans to expand this outreach education program to other tribal schools in the area.

“We received wonderful feedback from the students and teachers at the Quiluete Tribal School who asked us to make this an annual program at their school and to provide this field course for other tribal schools such as the Makah Tribal School in Neah Bay,” Kyes said.

In addition to heading the WaNPRC’s Division of Global Programs, Kyes is also Director of the Center for Global Field Study. For 22 years, in partnership with his international colleagues, Kyes has conducted annual field courses in the areas of primatology and conservation biology for university students and professionals in a number of countries including Indonesia, Nepal, China, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Condo, Thailand, and Mexico.