Tyson Environmental Research Fellowships

TERF prairieTERF: Mentoring the next generation of environmental scientists

The TERF program is a field research internship program based at Tyson Research Center, Washington University’s environmental field station. Selected teen participants have completed the SIFT program during the previous year and apply their field skills to ongoing research projects at Tyson and other partnering research sites in the St. Louis area. The project aims for engagement of a science research institution and career scientists in the execution of informal science education programming, bringing real and dynamic context to the science content.

The Student Experience

During the summer, the four-week program provides teens with exposure to a variety of field science experiences and skills. TERF teens work as paid members of research teams alongside Washington University scientists, post-doctoral researchers, graduate students and undergraduate students. Fall and winter activities are designed to provide important community outreach, emphasizing the value of environmental research.

The TERF program provides a cultural apprenticeship in university-based environmental biology research and training in scientific communication. It is an advanced summer experience modeled on the undergraduate research internships offered at Tyson.

Participant Activities

During a June or July four-week session, teen participants are involved in the following activities:

  • daily work in support of a research team,
  • weekly journal article discussion,
  • time for reflective writing and discussion,
  • weekly seminar and social BBQ with Tyson community and guest scientists.

During the following school year, participants work on posters and presentations designed to bridge the communication gap between scientists and the public. They participate in symposia at Washington University and Tyson, and their posters are displayed at Shaw Nature Reserve.

Learn more

TERF pond