Biology students at William Woods University recently got out of the classroom and into the “the wild” during a biology retreat. Four faculty members accompanied 35 students on the retreat Sept. 12-14 at the Reis Biological Station.
William Woods is part of a consortium of colleges and universities that was formed in 1986 to promote biological research and education in the Ozarks. Members of the consortium have access to the Reis Biological Station, which is contained within Mark Twain National Forest.
The station consists of 225 acres of oak-hickory forest located in the eastern Ozarks of Missouri, near Steelville. This is the third year WWU students have gone to Reis to study the forests, glades, caves, springs, ponds and rivers.
The trip gives biology majors a chance to get to know each other and faculty outside the classroom. Students also work with WWU faculty to plan their academic schedules for upcoming semesters.
According to Katharine Mayne, assistant professor of biology, one of the highlights of the trip each year is student presentations, with students telling what they learned during science-oriented summer jobs and internships, as well as research projects they are working on this year.
Other activities include a float trip, which combines recreation with nature for a fun, educational experience. Students also participate in a treasure hunt and campfires. This year the trip concluded with a trip to Onondaga Cave State Park in Leasburg, Mo.
WWU biology students seine the Huzzah Creek for aquatic life.
During a biology retreat, WWU students work to identify native Missouri trees; this one is an American Basswood.
Biology majors Cheyenne Morris, Kathryn Golden, Ashley Miller and Kayla Kring show off their waders during their retreat.