About the TCC

The Tyson Conservation Corps (TCC) is a student group 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



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.

006 - Copy (3).JPG

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.

Red bat roosting in tree - Race Stryker.jpg

Bat monitoring

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.


Prescribed Burns

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, our first TCC Student Coordinator, Hanna Peterman and TCC Assistant Student Coordinator, Jolena Pang.

We are currently recruiting enthusiastic volunteers to join for the Spring semester 2019.

fill out our SPring events interest form Here!


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


Meet our Student Coordinators!

Hanna Peterman (right) is a senior studying Environmental Biology and Spanish. She was a 2017 Summer Fellow at Tyson in the Medley lab, and has continued working as a research assistant with Dr. Solny Adalsteinsson, studying wildlife ecology. Hanna has always loved the outdoors, from ticks to trees, so conservation and ecological restoration are very important to her. She hopes that the TCC will get other students excited about the natural world and working to sustain it.

Jolena Pang (left) is a junior majoring in Environmental Biology. She was involved in Tyson's 2015 TERF (Tyson Environmental Research Fellowships) program where she worked in the Disease Vector lab under Dr. Kim Medley and Dr. Kathleen Westby. She has also done field research on sagebrush crickets with Illinois State University, and has spent several summers working for the Wild Bird Rehabilitation, a local songbird hospital. Jolena loves animals, plants, undeveloped land, and fresh air.


Connect with us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/562921770854099/about/