The Tyson Conservation Corps (TCC) is a student volunteer crew dedicated to conservation and ecological restoration. Students in TCC get hands-on training and experience in habitat restoration and long-term research and monitoring techniques through work on a variety of projects. The group is led by a student coordinator based at the Office of Sustainability who works as the liaison between student volunteers and Tyson Research Center staff ecologists.
Goals of the TCC:
Conserve the ecological integrity of Tyson Research Center
Broaden the community of people who value Tyson and its resources
Provide students with restoration and applied conservation experience
Train student leaders and build capacity for local conservation initiatives
Strengthen ties among Tyson, WashU Danforth Campus, area institutions, and greater STL region
LARGE MAMMAL MONITORING
Tyson deploys trail cameras at various parts of the year to monitor our large mammal populations. Students help in each stage of the process from camera deployment to image processing and analysis.
Invasive Species management
Staff and students work together to remove invasive bush honeysuckle (Lonicera mackii), tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima), and other nuisance species throughout Tyson.
Acoustic monitors are set up year round at the Tyson caves. Students help identify species using acoustic software and work with scientists to learn monitoring techniques.
A goal for the TCC is to provide training and on the ground experience to students in using prescribed fire as a restoration tool for habitat improvement at Tyson.
flora and fauna inventory and monitoring
Students work with staff and researchers to build species lists and track changes year to year. This data can inform incoming researchers and also contribute long-term datasets to larger networks.
Student led conservation projects
Students are encouraged to be involved in planning restoration projects and making management decisions in cooperation with Tyson staff and our conservation partners.
The Tyson Conservation Corps was established in late 2018 under the leadership of Tyson Staff Scientist, Solny Adalsteinsson, Tyson Natural Resources Coordinator, Elizabeth Biro, and our first TCC Student Coordinator, Hanna Peterman.
We are currently recruiting enthusiastic volunteers to join for the Spring semester 2019.
Activities for the Spring semester 2019 include:
Setting up bat monitors at our quarry cave and learning bat survey techniques
Using citizen science monitoring programs as part of Tyson trail camera surveys and Urban Wildlife Inventory Network of the Lincoln park Zoo
Winter and spring surveys of spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) and learning to identify spring breeding amphibians by call
Prioritizing areas for invasive honeysuckle removal and learning ecological restoration techniques
Spring migrating bird walks and identification
Overnight at Tyson learning bat monitoring and amphibian monitoring techniques