Up Close with LEEFS Fellows

Rae Wynn-Grant and Robert Muscarella are this year’s GK-12 Fellows, funded through the NSF LEEFS Program, or Learning through Ecology and Environmental Field Studies. LEEFS is a partnership of the Earth Institute Center on Environmental Sustainability and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in which doctoral students work together with science and math teachers in New York City public schools to bring doctoral-student level research into the classroom. Rae and Bob are pursuing their doctorates though the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology.

Rae’s research takes her to the Lake Tahoe Basin in western Nevada, where she is tracking an expanding population of American black bears and recording their behavioral patterns in an area with rapid urban development and popular outdoor recreation. Bob’s research involves variation of tropical forest tree communities in Puerto Rico. Both Rae and Bob are working at MS 88, Peter Rouget Education Complex, a large Title I and Title III middle school in Brooklyn. There they intend to focus on helping students develop critical thinking skills and the fundamentals of science research through hands-on learning projects.

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