Science Researchers Learn About Invasive Species

Science Researchers Learn About Invasive Species photo
Science Researchers Learn About Invasive Species photo 2
Science Researchers Learn About Invasive Species photo 3
Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School held a guest lecture for science research students in the library on Nov. 30.

Organized by science teacher Tracy Wenzler and coordinated by science chairperson Renee Locker, guest lecturers Luke Gervase and Dr. Steve Pearson presented a seminar on invasive species to the group of more than 50 students. Mr. Gervase works with Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management, while Dr. Pearson is part of the Long Island Invasive Species Management Area. After speaking about research, the two conducted a training on iMap, a website and software application used to track invasive species introductions and spreads.

Junior science-researchers Kiara Bennett and Nolan Johnson, who are part of the advanced science research program at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School, are currently conducting research surrounding the effects of certain invasive species. Kiara has attained high honors in three local competitions. This year, she teamed up with Johnson to expand their research surrounding  “The Effect of Helianthus angustifolius on the Invasive Species Eleocharis dulcis.” Kiara and Nolan were responsible for making initial contact with the Invasive Species Management program.

In the advanced science research program, students are taught a multiplicity of skills including conducting research, writing scholarly papers and networking. Under the supervision of Locker, in conjunction with advisers Ms. Wenzler and Minnett Hall, students reach out to professional experts in the field to authenticate and assist in the development of their research. According to Ms. Locker, who works with the research students alongside teachers, “This seminar is teaching students instructional enrichment, application and how to effectively utilize the superior district technology.” Consequently, Ms. Wenzler said, “It opens up an opportunity for them to pursue a popular area for research studies.”