UC hosts science day at field center

Partnering with UC's College of Arts and Sciences, the UC Alumni Association organizes interactive walks and presentations to families.

By John(na) Jackson

The University of Cincinnati Alumni Association held its third-annual Science Day on Aug. 18 at the UC Center for Field Studies. Located at the edge of the Miami Whitewater Forest, the center played host to 150 people who enjoyed ecology themed activities and a catered lunch.

Image of a boy running with a bug net as part of a bug walk at UC Center for Field Studies Science Day

A child chases after bugs on the prairie landscape during an educational "bug walk."

Organized to be a family-friendly event, Science Day invites UC alumni and community members to share their scientific interests with others while raising awareness about the research taking place at the field station. Activities included nature walks with UC professors, mini-lectures and interactive exhibits for children.

Joshua Benoit, an assistant professor with a focus on entomology, led participants on bug walks to discover the biodiversity of insects readily found in the prairie landscape at the field center. Benoit taught his groups about the different kinds of nets used to capture critters ranging from butterflies to frogs. Then, groups explored the edges of the prairie and nearby creek, practicing the signature swings that scoop up the bugs Benoit presented in his introduction.

Image of a father and son on a creek walk at UC Center for Field Studies

A father and son search for creek critters on a guided walk through the woods.

College of Arts and Sciences biologist and researcher Denis Conover led groups on tours demonstrating his vast knowledge of all things that grow from the ground. Participants were given the chance to touch and smell a wide variety of flora, while learning the ways they all interact to create both the forest and prairie ecosystems present at the center.

Mike Miller, a professor emeritus in biology, led creek walks that taught participants about local aquatic biology and creek soil and nutrients in the Miami Whitewater Forest. Children in rain boots waded around the creek sifting water through sieves to find fossils and creek creatures.

Other faculty, students and alumni presented short lectures on their research related to the work of the field center. Topics included beekeeping, water resource recovery, recycling, and a historical look at the weather patterns of ancient Cincinnati that left the area with high concentrations of fossilized ocean life.

Science Day is a collaboration of the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering and Applied Science, the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, and the Lindner College of Business with support from Great Parks of Hamilton County, which sponsored children's presentations about animals and erosion. Miami Whitewater Forest is part of the Great Parks of Hamilton County.

Interested in giving back to UC? Please contact Juliana Saneholtz, Associate Director of Alumni Relations for the College of Arts and Sciences: juliana.saneholtz@uc.edu.

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