E.S.S.R.E. 2005



     We would like to give special thanks and recognition to our funder,

The Waksman Foundation for Microbiology, for its support of

the Environmental Science Summer Research Experience for Young

 Women this year.



    The 2005 Environmental Science Summer Research Experience for Young Women ran from July 11th to July 29th. Twelve 9th and 10th grade interns from Roland Park Country School, Bryn Mawr, Seton Keough, St. Timothy's, Mercy, and Notre Dame Preparatory participated in this year's program, each bringing something unique to the table.   The talented group of twelve completed biota surveys on three microclimates located in the backwoods of Roland Park Country School. The interns worked against the blazing heat, brewing storms, swarms of mosquitoes, thick mud and quick sand.


    Against all odds, the girls triumphed and the data was collected successfully. The soil - and the interns -  endured countless tests for protozoa, bacteria, yeast, mold, algae, soil texture, and arthropods. Once all the survey tests were performed, the groups were able to run numerous tedious statistical tests in order to complete an intensive statistical analysis on all of the data. When the data was analyzed (in record time by the way), the interns broke off to form further research questions which were later investigated in the remaining time.


    During this enriching experience, our interns faced several difficulties, one of which was coming to work with the power out. When they ventured out to their sites in order to collect soil samples, the group working on Site 3 discovered the cause of the power outage: an old, worn out tree broke in half onto the power lines that crossed through the site. Unfortunately, all the debris from the tree completely blocked off the entrance to the site, but the persevering group found a way back into the site.  Alas, though, the power outage damaged the protozoa extraction process (which needs refrigeration at critical stages), and so the data for it became suspect (and isn't in the databases for this year).







The Research Questions...




To  determine correlation between sunlight and the population of bacteria  (web lesson 1 & research paper 1)





 To  explore whether the number of decomposers affects the amount of aluminum and iron in the soil (web lesson 2research paper 2)



To  effects of rhododendrons on the pH and iron levels in the soil (web lesson 3research paper 3)






Microbiota Surveys...



Leah Miller

Teacher's Assistant

David Brock


Kalyani Ravi

Teacher's Assistant

Click here to view Quadrat Data

 and Site Summaries for Site 2

Click here to view Quadrat  Data and Site Summaries for Site 4

Click here to view Quadrat Data and

Site Summaries for Site 3



    In the end, E.S.S.R.E 2005 was a greatly enriching and fun experience for everyone. If there are any questions or inquiries, feel free to contact the founding project director by e-mail at STEMteacherEmeritus.rpcs@gmail.com  or directly at 410/323-5500 ext 5500. Contact current project director, Cheryl Carmona, at carmonac@rpcs.org We decided to document this crazy experience through our slideshow [7 Mb]. Explore and enjoy!

Annotated Bibliography of Soil Ecology Websites

Biota Survey Protocols

E.S.S.R.E. Home Page

E.S.S.R.E. Research Findings & Results

Microclimate Data Bases

Soil Ecology Experiments for the Classroom