U.S Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District Biologists
Heather Adams and Dave Leput engaged students at Buffalo’s Lydia T. Wright
Middle School in wetland ecology during the school’s second annual Job Fair
Equipped only with enthusiasm and handcrafted posters depicting
wetlands, wetland flora, and wetland fauna, Buffalo District Regulatory Branch
Biologists piqued the students' interest in all aspects of wetland ecology.
Representing the Corps of Engineers at the job fair, Adams
and Leput rotated from classroom to classroom presenting the basics of working
as a biologist in the Corps of Engineers Regulatory Program. After this brief
discussion, the floor was opened up to the students to ask questions.
It was at this point when the students revealed a hidden
wealth of interest and curiosity in animals, plants, insects, and basic
ecology. This trend was repeated from classroom to classroom. This sparked
discussions of how wetlands clean our drinking water and provide valuable
habitat for many important species.
“Some students asked some surprisingly astute questions
regarding the consequences of developing and building in wetland areas,” said
Adams. “I’m glad we were able to illuminate an important aspect of protecting
It was clear that
Adams and Leput had planted the seeds of ecological conservation in the minds
of these students.
“I always enjoy finding creative ways to engage students in
ecology and biology,” said Leput. “The reward is seeing
that I’ve connected with the kids.”
The Buffalo District is
committed to teaming with others to strengthen science, technology,
engineering, and mathematic (STEM) related programs that inspire current and
future generations of young people to pursue careers in those fields. The Corps
of Engineers recognizes the critical role that STEM education plays in enabling
the U.S. to remain the economic and technological leaders of the global