Outreach


Our philosophy is that we are better scientists when we share our work with others. Our activities in the lab and field are complemented and enhanced by diverse outreach activities with the public in Arizona and beyond. We focus especially on high school students and high school science curricula, but seek to convey our work -- and engage citizen scientists -- in much of what we do. Just a few of our outreach activities are listed here; please contact Betsy Arnold for more information.

We are grateful to the National Science Foundation for supporting our outreach activities. We gratefully acknowledge additional support from the United States Department of Agriculture, National Geographic, the Western National Parks Association, Tucson Unified School District, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Arizona, and the School of Plant Sciences at the UA.



SANITYScience and Nature in Tandem for Youth (2014, 2015...)
SANITY is a field-research experience for high school students led by Margaret Wilch and colleagues at Tucson High Magnet School. As part of the students' week-long experience, we lead 15-20 Tucson High students through field- and laboratory research to discover fungal symbionts of plants at the American Museum of Natural History's Southwest Field Station in the Chiricahua Mountains of Arizona. Students developed hypotheses, conducted the sampling, and analyzed data to detect environmental factors influencing the distribution of mycorrhizal symbionts. Photos: AE Arnold; for more photos see our gallery at www.endohyphalbacteria.com
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Arizona Science City - Festival of Books (2014, 2015...)
The Tucson Festival of Books draws thousands of members of the public to the University of Arizona Campus each spring. Science City exhibits within the festival convey all aspects of science to children and their families from Tucson and beyond. The University of Arizona Campus Herbarium offered a hands-on open house/tour through the Festival, and our group shared fungal and microbial diversity with >200 diverse visitors each year. Photos: AE Arnold; for more photos see our gallery at www.endohyphalbacteria.com

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AgDiscovery 2015We welcomed high school students for interactive tours of our labs through the USDA-APHIS / UA partnership program, AgDiscovery, in June 2015. Students from diverse backgrounds participated in research activities and learned about microbial diversity. Photos: AgDiscovery leadership team; for more photos see our gallery at www.endohyphalbacteria.com

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High school workshops: Endophyte Discovery (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015...)
We host 70-120 high school students per year for a two-month workshop on fungal biodiversity at the University of Arizona. Students rotate through stations focused on fungal diversity and systematics, applications of fungi, and molecular biology of fungi. In the last of these stations the students vouchered plant-associated fungi, extracted DNA, and prepared for PCR (which they conducted in the biotechnology labs at Tucson High Magnet School). Our outstanding 'citizen scientists' contributed directly to a new perspective on fungal biodiversity through their weeks-long involvement in our research program. Photos: AE Arnold

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Engaging high school researchers (2005...)

Each year we engage high school students in our lab, where they conduct independent-mentored projects with project personnel. Students go on to present their work at local, regional, and national science fairs and related competitions. A few of our students are below. Photos: AE Arnold; for more photos see our gallery at www.endohyphalbacteria.com

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Engaging K-12 and tribal college teachers in research
We have been fortunate to partner with educators across Arizona to engage K-12 and tribal college teachers in research. From summer projects in Tucson to field experiences in Panama, teachers have been involved in our projects and have translated their experiences back to urban, rural, and STEM-serving institutions statewide. Photos: AE Arnold
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Research experiences on the Navajo Nation
For four years we coordinated a 10-week summer research experience for students at Diné College, the college of the Navajo Nation. In collaboration with Diné College instructors Barb Klein and Mary Shimabukuro, we engaged tribal college students in field ecology, molecular biology, and microbiology through summers of student-directed group projects. Publications from these summer projects are forthcoming. Photos: AE Arnold
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Some of our outreach activities have been covered in the media and online, and many of our resources are available for general use:

• Our EndophyteDiscovery workshops are described here, along with a 70+ page implementation manual:
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/338/6106/485.full

• Citizen scientists contribute regularly to our publications: we are honored to have K-12 teachers and others as authors on our published papers. For example:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25645243

• A brochure assembled by undergraduates in the lab, detailing our studies of endophyte diversity at Saguaro National Park:
http://ag.arizona.edu/mycoherb/arnoldlab/Endophyte_BioBlitz_Brochure.pdf

• News coverage by the University of Arizona press office:
http://uanews.org/node/42753

• News coverage by local outlets: for example,
http://arizonasonoranewsservice.com/stories/34-stories/164-bioblitz-uncovers-plant-animal-species-at-saguaro-national-park-

• Video coverage of undergraduate researchers, shot by the AAAS:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUhLyokRf-s