Article By: Abbie Basile, Published: November 22, 2006
Stone Laboratory's resident researcher, Kristin Stanford, will be featured in the Discovery Channel's popular "Dirty Jobs" program in its season premiere on Tuesday, November 28th at 9:00 p.m.
"Dirty Jobs" program host Mike Rowe and his crew follow Stanford for 10 hours as she catches and weighs snakes, and analyzes their vomit. Stanford, who is working on her PhD at Northern Illinois University, has spent the past several summers researching the threatened Lake Erie water snake from her base camp at Stone Laboratory on Lake Erie. "These snakes are probably the smelliest and dirtiest out there. So, it's definitely a dirty job," Stanford says. "And they're not exactly a friendly snake. They love to bite."
This Dirty Jobs episode provides a wonderful opportunity to introduce students to the world of research. "What's great about this show for college students is they can see exactly what cool things they can do in Ohio State University's Research Experience for Undergraduates Program, which is offered every summer at Stone Lab," explains Stanford.
The REU, or Research Experience for Undergraduates, Program at Ohio State allows students from all over the country to work on supervised, independent research projects in a variety of disciplines like herpetology, limnology, and fisheries. Students gain valuable skills in data collection and analysis, scientific reading and writing, as well as practice in oral presentation. This professional-level experience is an excellent preparation for graduate studies or professional life.
Several undergraduate students have worked with Stanford the past few summers on her snake research, with some recent students signing on for a second summer. "This type of hands-on, real-world research experience isn't available at many institutions at the undergraduate level," she explains.
Stone Laboratory, The Ohio State University's Island Campus located on Gibraltar Island on Lake Erie, provides Stanford with a perfect research base for studying the snakes. "The Dirty Jobs segment was a wonderful opportunity to promote Ohio State and Stone Lab, but we also hope it will capture students' interest in science research," says Stanford. "What's great is students from Ohio State and other universities can pursue that interest through Stone Lab's REU program." And maybe those future students will find their own research featured on Dirty Jobs.
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