Papers in the Biological Sciences

 

Date of this Version

3-2009

Comments

Published in BioScience (March 2009) 59(3): 217-222. Copyright 2009, the American Institute of Biological Sciences. http://caliber.ucpress.net/doi/abs/10.1525/bio.2009.59.3.6?journalCode=bio Used by permission.

Abstract

For a resident of the state of Nebraska, the Cedar Point Biological Station (CPBS), located in scenic limestone bluffs below Kingsley Dam, an earth-filled artificial mountain that impounds a lake 35 kilometers long and 5 kilometers wide, is a bargain in American higher education. In three weeks a student can earn four credits of upper-division coursework, get original research experience, and, most importantly—especially in an educational milieu increasingly characterized by electronic content and electronic course management—get his or her hands on some live wild plants and animals in an appropriate ecological context. This encounter with nature is typically the first for our high-performer premed students on academic scholarships, who regularly attend CPBS after their junior year. The life-long impact of such experience includes lost naïveté with respect to living systems, appreciation of the relationship between environment and health, and, for some, a career choice leading to professional science.