Since it's official launch in Fall 2019, our TREE program continues to grow and expand! And just as much as trees tell us stories, so too do the people who are involved in this citizen science project. Hear from participating educators, the leads on the project, and take a look at our picture gallery to get a sense of what TREE looks like!
Check out the original CLS TREE News Release clicking the link below and don't forget to check out MAD Lab's website for more info.
Seminars and News
CLS STEM Seminar: Dr. Colin Laroque
Synchrotrons and trees both involve rings and contain a wealth of knowledge…and when you add Dr. Colin Laroque to the mix, you get some pretty interesting stories! Colin is the Director of the Mistik Askiwin Dendrochronology Laboratory (MAD Lab) at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), a laboratory that investigates tree-ring related research. He is also a professor in Soil Science and School of Environment and Sustainability at the U of S and has led many student-inquiry classes. Colin has been involved with the Canadian Light Source Education programs since 2016 from being a science mentor for student groups to partnering with us to design and deliver the TREE program. Enjoy the first speaker in our STEM Seminar Series and learn what stories are wrapped in tree rings!
CLS STEM Seminar: Zach Person
Zach Person started his synchrotron research journey back in 2016 while taking Dr. Colin Laroque’s EVSC 110. This was the pilot project year for FYRE (First Year Research Experience) on the Beamlines, and the first time first-year students conducted research at the CLS. He can distinctly remember the hardest part… figuring out what the data is saying. From there, Zach worked with Colin to complete his undergraduate and master’s theses using various beamlines at the CLS to collect data on tree and soil samples and has helped develop the TREE Program. Through his academic journey, Zach has obtained a lot of experience looking at different synchrotron data to tell a story. Zach has gone from being a student in the first FYRE on the Beamlines to mentoring students in the ongoing program, ECUR 411, and visiting groups from across the country.
Social Justice Through EcoJustice, The Land, and CLS
Acting out social justice can be a difficult concept to implement in the classroom, but Mel Sysing, a Grade 8 teacher in the Greater Saskatoon Catholic School Division, SK, does just that. Pictured bottom right, Mel leads the EcoJustice Program, an environmental adventure program that helps students become aware of important global issues and allows them to actively pursue local social justice causes. In the past couple years, Mel has taken the opportunity to engage with our LiSSE program, helped us launch our TREE program, and has shared with us his experiences connecting CLS to his classroom.
The Grade 8 students in the EcoJustice Program recorded their experience collecting TREE samples and shared their thoughts about integrating land-based and experiential learning concepts with social justice. In their video, Heartbeat of the Land, Mel guides his students by asking big questions connected to reconciliation through storytelling while the students also engage in the hands-on nature of sample collection. With the TREE and LiSSE program, Mel shares in his interview how using these programs helps him reach his curricular outcomes and how not only his students’ learning grows, but his as well. Watch Mel’s interview, which acts as a precursor to his students’ Heartbeat of the Land video.
Interview with Mel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubENRuX7j9k
Heartbeat of the Land: https://vimeo.com/388495685
Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation: U of S-Based Partnership Allows Researchers to Study Tree Rings on Nationwide Scale
TREE started as a seed in someone's head: Tracy Walker, CLS Education Program Lead. After getting acquainted with MAD Lab and Colin Laroque, through his mentorship of Students on the Beamline groups, the idea was proposed and the two started working together to develop this program. When it was launched, students were added to the mix and there was opportunity to learn and grow with students. Hear from each project lead as they share the idea of TREE and how this nationwide program impacts science research and science education.
STF Bulletin in PDF: https://www.stf.sk.ca/sites/default/files/bulletin_2020feb12.pdf
TREE relies on students to collect and send in samples. Here you will find a few images of student groups collecting out in the field and our researchers hard at work! If you are interested in sharing your images, feel free to contact the CLS Education Team at firstname.lastname@example.org!