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Kansas School Naturalist


KSN - Vol 16, No 2 - What Biologists DoVolume 16, Number 2 - December 1969

What Biologists Do

ABOUT THIS ISSUE

Published by: The Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia

Prepared and Issued by: The Department of Biology,
with the cooperation of the Division of Education

Editor: Robert J. Boles

Editorial Committee: Ina M. Borman, Robert F. Clarke, Gilbert A. Leisman, Bernadette Menhusen, David F. Parmelee, Carl W. Prophet

Exofficio: Dr. Edwin B. Kurtz, Head, Dept. of Biology

Online edition by: Terri Weast

The Kansas School Naturalist is sent upon request, free of charge, to Kansas teachers, school board members and administrators, librarians, conservationists, youth leaders, and other adults interested in nature education. Back numbers are sent free as long as supply lasts, except Vol. 5, No.3, Poisonous Snakes of Kansas. Copies of this issue may be obtained for 25 cents each postpaid. Send orders to The Kansas School Naturalist, Department of Biology, Kansas State Teachers College, Emporia, Kansas, 66801.

The Kansas School Naturalist is published in October, December, February, and April of each year by The Kansas State Teachers College, 1200 Commercial Street, Emporia, Kansas, 66801. Second-class postage paid at Emporia, Kansas.

"Statement required by the Act of October, 1962: Section 4369, Title 39, United States Code, showing Ownership, Management and Circulation." The Kansas School Naturalist is published in October, December, February, andApril. Editorial Office and Publication Office at 1200 Commercial Street, Emporia, Kansas, 66801. The Naturalist is edited and published by the Kansas State Teachers College, Emporia, Kansas. Editor, John Breukelman, Department of Biology.


What Biologists Do

Many people do not realize the many fields in which a biologist may specialize. This issue of The Kansas School Naturalist is the first of two issues to be devoted to an explanation of some of these specialities, written by scientists on the Kansas State Teachers College staff, each of whom is actively engaged in research and teaching.

The information included in this issue should serve at least two purposes. First, it should give you a broader understanding of the field of the biological sciences. Second, it should help those of you who might be considering a career in biology to decide in what speciality you are most interested, and to know the opportunities for employment in that field.

KSN - Vol 16, No 2 - What Biologists Do

Dr. Parmelee examines the skin of an ivory gull. one of the many valuable specimens in the KSTC study collection.

Dr. David F. Parmelee, a graduate of the University of Oklahoma who joined the KSTC staff in 1958, is an excellent artist and photographer. He has illustrated many of this extensive publications. He is an authority on the tax onomy, ecology and behavior of Kansas and Arctic shore birds.

THE ORNITHOLOGIST

Ornithology is the study or science of birds. An ornithologist is the scientist who studies birds. Such a person usually starts out by studying broad biological concepts as well as other academic disciplines such as English, mathematics, and chemistry. Gradually he specializes in vertebrate zoology and eventually concentrates on birds-one of several kinds or groups of vertebrates.

Specialization does not end with birds, however. There are numerous facets or avenues one can follow. Since birds have a long history behind them - estimated at 130 million years or older - some ornithologists specialize in bird paleontology, which is the fascinating study of fossil forms. Other ornithologists prefer to
study living birds and go to the ends of the earth to find them. Birds have been studied in so many places that their distribution (zoogeography) is perhaps better known than any other vertebrate class, including mammals.

Other popular facets of living bird study include taxonomy (how birds are classified), ecology (how birds relate to the environment), anatomy and physiology (structure and function), and ethology (behavior). Some of the most interesting aspects remain the least known. Migration and orientation in birds are still mostly a great mystery and only recently has man acquired some real insights into the dynamics of bird flight.

A young person contemplating a career in ornithology will want to know something about the areas of employment available to the ornithologist. Many ornithologists affiliate with a university, college, or junior college and teach ornithology (and usually a few other subjects) and carry on research in some aspect of ornithology. The part-time teaching and part-time research go hand in hand. This type of employment is very popular with all kinds of biologists, including ornithologists. Teachers in the primary and secondary schools more often than not utilize a knowledge of ornithology in their biology offerings, but relatively few of them carry on active research in birds.

One will find very active research ornithologists outside of teaching. National, state, municipal, university, college, and private museums of natural history are all popular places of employment. Federal and state governments offer a variety of positions for ornithologists, especially in wildlife management (game birds
primarily) and park service (birds of all kinds); likewise private foundations, institutes, and societies employ a certain number of ornithologists. A good example is the National Audubon Society with its magnificent headquarters in New York City and its many famous Audubon Nature Camps scattered across the country. If a person has a leaning for both the military and ornithology, a career is still possible, for the United States Navy employs at least a few ornithologists.

There are also professional ornithologists who make all or part of their living through writing, editing, illustrating (bird art is very popular), and wildlife photography. But even if a person does not wish to be a teacher, researcher, museum specialist, Audubon lecturer, director, professional, what not, there is plenty of room left for him in ornithology. Tens of thousands of lay persons of all ages and walks of life have taken up the ever popular sport of bird watching. One will meet these people all over the world in the field as well
as at ornithological meetings, paper sessions, social gatherings - right along with the professionals. The sophisticated sport of bird watching probably never will be as popular as NFL football, but here at least is a sport-along with hunting, fishing, hiking, mountain climbing where the non-professional is the participant, not merely the spectator.

THE SCIENCE EDUCATOR

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Counseling is one of the important function of the biologist Dr. Durst discusses a problem of concern to a young man interested in this field of science.

Dr. Harold E. Durst, who came to KSTC in 1963, received his Ph.D. degree from Oregon Stat e Univers ity. His maj o r interests are in science curriculum development and evaluation. In addition to his research to improve course content and teachi ng methods, he serves as advisor to apprentice teachers in the secondary school of Kansas.

Science education in the broad sense has been in existence since the first bits of scientific knowledge were transmitted from the knower to the learner. However, science education as a specialized area with distinct course requirements and research modes is a rapidly developing discipline within the education and scientific enterprises. In general, degrees in science education are awarded at the doctorate level. This means that the bachelor's and master's degrees are usually in science or education.

Trained science educators are employed in a wide variety of occupations. Teaching science, education, science education, and research is the major occupation of science educators. Others are engaged in curriculum development, while most serve in a variety of capacities as consultants to schools, publishers, and testing agencies. Many trained science educators also are employed as science supervisors or coordinators in public schools.

In addition to teaching and helping with the training of science teachers, my major interest is in the development of instruments to measure attitudes and the evaluation of science curricula. The latter has been the main interest, however. This has involved the evaluation of a new method of teaching college general biology developed by a coworker. The evaluation involved a comparison of understandings of biology, understandings about science and attitudes toward science of students in a lecture course with students in an audio tutorial course. It should be mentioned that the latter method demonstrated some superiority to the lecture method.

A survey of Kansas secondary school science teachers is being conducted at the present time. This survey is designed to determine the kinds of science courses these teachers believe to be beneficial as they continue their teaching. Projected studies include an analysis of the teaching patterns of Kansas secondary school life science teachers and another one dealing with curriculum evaluation at the college level.

As would be expected, the great number and complexity of problems to be solved in science education served as an impetus to the development of science education as a discipline. There are many problems to be solved dealing with the learner of science. These include the area of attitude development and the development of skill in thinking and how people learn science. Another area deals with the aims and objectives but little research has been done on the relating of objectives to classroom instruction.

There are may problems to be solved in the areas of curriculum and instruction. These include the selection and grade placement of experiences, integration of courses, teaching methods, the extent to which certain aspects of science can be taught, and the appropriate use and effectiveness of learning aids such as computer-assisted instruction. There is an urgent need for research on the relationship between teacher personality factors and teacher effectiveness. The same applies to the training to teachers. There is very little research directed toward objective education of various types of facilities available for science instruction, and little is known about the factors which contribute to student achievement in the sciences. In conclusion, it is not a matter of are there problems in science education, rather, it is a problem to be content with concentrating on a single problem when there are so many questions demanding answers.

THE TAXIDERMIST

KSN - Vol 16, No 2 - What Biologists Do

Mr. Schmidt works on the manuscript for one of his books on taxidermy. He also drew the illustrations for his books.

Mr. Richard H. Schmidt is one of the finest taxidermists in the country. Author of three soon-to-be-published books, he makes a n invaluable contribution to the KSTC Biology Department by maintaining the specimens in the Vertebrate Museum and in preparing research skins for study purposes. Since coming to KSTC in 1956, he has also instructed numerous students in the art of taxidermy.

According to legend the practice of mounting and displaying birds for educational and aesthetic purposes originated as the result of an accident in Holland in the 16th century.

A Dutch nobleman brought a large collection of tropical birds from the East Indies to Amsterdam and placed them in an aviary, which was heated by a furnace. One night the janitor forgot to close the furnace door, thereby allowing the smoke to escape and suffocate the birds.

The next morning when the nobleman beheld the destruction of his treasured collection, he called on the best alchemists and apothecaries, who were considered magicians in command of secret skills, for consultation on how to preserve his birds.

The men devised means of skinning the birds, preserving the skins with spices, then wiring and stuffing them. The proj ect was a success and for a long time the collection was the pride and joy of the nobleman and his city of Amsterdam.

Strange as it may seem, entirely too many taxidermists today, like the magicians of old, are secretive about their skill.

Taxidermy is a compound word derived from the Greek: taxis, meaning arrangement and derma, a skin. Taxidermy is therefore the art of preparing and mounting the skin of an animal over a form so as to appear lifelike. There are two processes by which taxidermy may be performed: "artistic" and "scientific."

In artistic taxidermy a manikin is hand-carved of balsa-wood or is hand-modeled of paper mache or other plastic substance. The skin is then arranged over the back page manikin. Since the skill of a sculptor is required in this process of taxidermy the term "artistic" applies. In scientific taxidermy an accurate mold is made of the subject to be mounted. Into this mold a positive cast is formed. The cast, which is an exact reproduction of the original body, is used as the manikin. Because this process of preparing the manikin requires precision workmanship but not artistic talent we use the term "scientific taxidermy."

The taxidermist at KSTC who has mounted the specimens on display in the Biology Museum, besides constantly adding to the collection, has a varied career. He teaches a course in taxidermy, teaches the students in the ornithology and mammology classes to put up study skins; and the students in the ichthyology class to mount fish trophies by his techniques.

The taxidermist spends some of his time conducting museum tours for visiting school groups. He also represents KSTC in speaking engagements to civic groups and schools.

THE LIMNOLOGIST

KSN - Vol 16, No 2 - What Biologists Do

Collecting water samples, such as Dr. Prophet is doing, requires the researcher to go into the field. Samples are then brought back to the laboratory for detailed study and analysis.

Dr. Carl W. Prophet, who received his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma, has his special research interest in rivers, artificial impoundments, and water pollution. He has been a staff member at KSTC since 1956.

Limnology is often defined as the study of inland waters and the environmental factors which influence the quality of the water and the physical and biological processes taking place within them. Any type of aquatic community such as a lake, stream, or reservoir can serve as the subject of study for a limnologist.

Although the various types of aquatic communities may exhibit certain common features, each possesses its own unique characteristics which set it apart from the others. Two nearby ponds may be quite different in terms of water quality and associations of organisms inhabiting them. In such instances, the limnologist might attempt to discover the reasons for their differences.

Members of the Kansas State Teachers College Limnology Research Laboratory are currently engaged in water pollution research. Our primary interest at this time is to develop methods for evaluating the ecological effects of runoff from livestock feedlots on the rivers and reservoirs of east central Kansas. As the number of cattle on feed in the state has increased over the past decade, so has the threat and occurrence of water pollution from livestock wastes increased. The feedlot runoff problem is unlike most other fonus of water pollution because the pollutants are introduced in varying quantities at irregular intervals. Sometimes the amount of organic wastes washed into the river is so great that a large mass of "dead water" is created which flows slowly downstream, destroying most or all aquatic animal life as it moves along the river course. The damage to the river may extend many miles downstream before the adverse conditions are modified by natural conditions. Massive fish kills are often the most dramatic
evidence of the occurrence of adverse conditions.

KSN - Vol 16, No 2 - What Biologists Do

Teaching is an important part of the work of a biologist. Dr. Ransom is helping a prospective elementary teacher understand the principle behind a laboratory exercise.

Dr. John D. Ransom, from the Oklahoma State University, has been one of the KSTC Biology staff since 1964. His special interest involves the bottom fauna of fresh water lakes and streams. With the great increase in the pollution of our water supplies, and the dangers to human healt h and recreation, as well as to domestic stock, game, and fish, research such as that conducted by Dr. Prophet and Dr. Ransom is becoming of increasing importance.

Adverse environmental conditions are produced primarily by the decomposition of the organic materials washed into the river in the runoff. Oxygen dissolved in the water is totally depleted, thereby suffocating fish and other animal fonus. In addition, toxic by-products of decomposition, such as ammonia, often reach lethal levels, and the fecal or coliform bacterial populations attain densities of millions of cells per 100 ml of water.

Once the polluted mass of water has moved downstream and dissipated, water quality conditions again appear normal. However, the extent of pollution damage to the river can be demonstrated by the analysis of kinds and numbers of organisms surviving in the river.

Physical and chemical criteria have long been used to describe water quality. They are still being used in rather fruitless attempts to establish water quality criteria. Physical and chemical parameters are rather easily defined and that makes this approach attractive. However, chemical substances which affect the quality of water are numerous, vary continuously in concentration, and act differently with small changes in concentration. Physical and chemical surveys give the conditions of the body of water at the time of sampling only.

Recently, many limnologists, including those at Kansas State Teachers College, have turned to what appears to be a more reliable method of detecting both changes and degree of change in water quality.

A body of water, often referred to as an aquatic ecosystem, is a natural unit composed of abiotic and biotic elements interacting to produce an exchange of materials. Actions between the abiotic and biotic components and coactions among the biotic components result in a characteristic assemblage of organisms. Community structure is the title given to the complex of individuals belonging to all the different species in that assemblage. An unfavorable limiting factor such as pollution, or relief from it, results in detectable changes in community structure. Since we assume that natural communities are meaningful assemblages, we can use a simple and most promising method of analyzing community structure, the diversity index. The structure of a benthic (bottom) or planktonic (floating or open water) community can be summarized clearly and briefly in diversity indices derived from information theory.

THE PLANT ECOLOGIST

KSN - Vol 16, No 2 - What Biologists Do

Determining the delicate relationships that exist between plants and the soils up on which they grow requires Dr. Ahshapanek to make careful analyses in the laboratory.

Dr. Don C. Ahshapanek received his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. He has been a faculty member at KSTC since 1962. His research involves investigation into the factors affecting plant succession in grasslands and abandoned fields. In addition to his teaching and research in the biological sciences, his Indians of Nonh America courses are among the most popular on the KSTC Campus.

The area of plant ecology probably developed in the United States several years before Haeckel coined the word "ecology" in 1866. Its early phases were largely descriptive being aided by a major interest in taxonomy. Soon, however, interest developed beyond the concern of what plants were present in a particular area to a consideration that plant communities were both products and agents of change. With increased technology plant ecology passed from pure analysis of the vegetation or plant sociology to attempts to qualify the study of vegetation. This aspect has been furthered by a growing knowledge of allied areas such as physical sciences, with an emphasis on models and systems analysis, increased understanding of the abiotic environment in terms of soils and climate, and development of the dynamic phases of vegetation with advances in plant physiology.

One of the more important aspects of succession and climax receiving much attention in the present age has been that of the energy relations involved. This area has received great impetus because of man's concern for the conservation of his natural resources. Radiation and population ecology have also been areas of great concern to man in his quest for survival in the atomic age. Thus, today ecology embodies the whole spectrum of ecosystems with man as just one of the central components. The ecologist of today represents more than just a scientist. Not only is he involved in uncovering the relationship among organisms and their environment, but he also is asked to formulate a point of view in the interpretation of these interrelationships.

At Kansas State Teachers College Dr. Don Ahshapanek is interested in studies on succession and productivity in native grasslands and abandoned cropland. In the spring of 1963 a long-term program of research on the reseeding of native grasses into abandoned cropland by various techniques was initiated. The ten-acre study area is a part of the original 200-acre site deeded to the school by F. B. and Rena G. Ross in 1958 for research and field study. Since 1958 the study area has been protected from fire and grazing. In all plots the objective has been to determine the changes in composition and productivity
with the varying treatments given. Attempts are also being made to correlate physical-chemical changes in the soil with vegetative changes.

Dr. Ahshapanek is also interested in a determination of factors affecting succession in abandoned fields and factors involved in competition between species. He is especially interested in the roles of mineral nutrition and plant inhibitors in succession and competition.

Opportunities for biologists concentrating in the area of plant ecology are present at the federal, state, or private agency levels in the areas of teaching, agriculture, agronomy, forestry, conservation, horticulture, marine biology, atmospheric and earth sciences, biomedical sciences, radiation biology, and with fish and game commissions.

THE STUDY OF COAL BALLS

KSN - Vol 16, No 2 - What Biologists Do

Dr. Leisman prepares a coal ball peel to be used in stlldying the minute structure or a plant that lived in southeastern Kansas millions of years ago.

Dr. Gilbert A. Leisman, the "old man" of the KSTC faculty in terms of service, is a paleobo tanist who came to the Biology Department in 1956. A g raduate o f the University of Minnesota, he is the author of many articles in the field of paleo botany. His special interest is in the fossils found in Pennsylvania coal balls.

About 300 million years ago, much of the earth was covered by a swamp forest made up of plants quite different from any living today. There were large "scale" trees, with bark resembling fish scales, and ferm-like plants which bore large seeds. The climate was warm and moist and conditions for coal formation were very favorable. Because of the large amount of coal formed during this period of geologic history, it is often referred to as the Carboniferous period.

Many coal seams are quite free of mineral impurities, but in some we find limestone nodules which, because of their frequent spherical shape, are called "coal balls". We do not know exactly how these coal balls were formed, but we presume that marine water must have been necessary. Many of the swamp forest areas were covered several times during the Carboniferous by a shallow sea, and presumably the lime in the ocean water precipitated in the submerged plant remains bringing about coal ball formation in some way. It is significant to note that only in the areas covered by this sea do we find coal balls. In the United States, they are found primarily in Southeastern Kansas, southern Iowa, southern Illinois, and Kentucky.

Coal balls are of no value to the mining industry. In fact, because they are so hard and frequently in such large masses, they often damage machinery and necessitate much extra effort to separate them from the coal. But to a paleobotanist (a scientist who stuclies fossil plants), coal balls are potential storehouses
of valuable information, since they contain petrified fragments, such as seeds, leaves, roots, and stems of the Carboniferous plants. Often the preservation is quite remarkable, with quite delicate structures such as root hairs, fungal hyphae, and even cell nuclei being present.

A coal ball is studied by cutting it with a cliamond saw, polishing the cut surfaces, and then etching them in dilute hydrochloric acid. The acid dissolves away a thin layer of the limestone leaving the unaffected organic cells and tissues projecting in slight relief above the surface. The surface is flooded with acetone, and a sheet of cellulose acetate film carefully placed on the flooded surface. The acetone softens the film so that it "sinks" down into the etched spaces between the organic matter. As the film hardens, the cells, tissues, and any other organic matter is now embedded in the film. When dry, the film is pulled free from the surface, and the film with its embedded thin layer of cell walls, tissues, etc., is known as a "peel". By repeating this process over and over again one can obtain a series of peels that could pass through an entire structure such as a small seed. After the peel series is complete, the anatomy and morphology of the object can be worked out in considerable detail by microscopic examination.

One of the biggest problems in this type of research is to connect the plant fragments. In a few cases we have been able to do this, so that we now know what the entire plant was like. But we still have a vast array of disconnected parts, and only through continued research of this type will increased knowledge of this ancient swamp forest and its components be enhanced.

THE MYCOLOGIST

KSN - Vol 16, No 2 - What Biologists Do

Many valuable contributions have been made to the health and welfare of man by scientists such as Dr. Keeling, working with the various species of molds and fungi.

Dr. Richard P. Keeling has his Ph.D. from Purdue University. He joined the KSTC staff in 1963. His special interest is in the physiology of fungi in the Aspergillus-Penicillium complex. As area number of the faculty members, he is an excellent artist and illustrator.

Mycology deals with the study of fungi. Within this general field are specialties restricted to more specific areas. These specialties run the gamut from, say, the classification of mushrooms and other large species to investigations of the chemistry of yeast fermentations. Other examples of specialization might be mycologists who investigate diseases of plants caused by fungi, mycologists who study the metabolism of fungi that produce chemical compounds useful to man, such as antibiotics, vitamins, food-flavoring additives, hormone substitutes, plant-growth stimulants and many other compounds. There are also those who specialize in diagnosing and characterizing the diseases of man caused by fungi.

Mycological research at KSTC (until 1969) has been generally restricted to a basic research investigation of the pigments produced by members of two genera of common molds, Aspergillus and Penicillium. These fungi are often referred to as the blue-green molds and are commonly seen as contaminants of foodstuffs. The function of the pigments produced by these molds is unknown. A technique, developed at KSTC that prevents many of these molds from producing their natural pigments, has been used in various attempts to elucidate the role of these pigments in the physiological activities of these fungi.

Another line of research has very recently been initiated to investigate a phenomenon known as self-inhibition or the "staling effect". The effect is most often observed as an inability of spores of certain fungi to germinate under crowded conditions or when they are placed in a medium that contains metabolic by-products of the vegetative phase of the fungus.

An aquatic fungus, Achlya, has been chosen for this study. Achlya is common to ponds and streams throughout the midwest. A single clone of Achlya can produce hundreds of relatively large spores known as gemmae or chlamydospores. The frequency of germination of the chlamydospores is very low if they are left in the water in which they are first formed. After they are harvested and washed several times in fresh water they germinate within two or three hours and the percent germination often approaches 100 percent. The investigation now planned would ultimately isolate and characterize any biochemical factors responsible
for the inhibitory effect.

THE COMPARATIVE PHYSIOLOGIST

KSN - Vol 16, No 2 - What Biologists Do

Dr. Kay Smalley devises a piece of special equipment to be used in her research.

Dr. Katherine N. Smalley received her Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. A faculty member sinc e 1966, her special interest of research is in the neurosecretory systems of insects and firefly behavior. She and Dr.
Rowe have been the recipients of a number of grants in their field of research.

KSN - Vol 16, No 2 - What Biologists Do

Dr. Rowe manipulates some of the intricate
equipment needed to record the nerve impulses of his favorite research animal the cockroach.

Dr. Edward C. Rowe, a faculty member since 1961, received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. His special interest is in insect nervous systems and heart physiology.

Most people are repelled by the word "cockroach", let alone by the sight of one of these insects. But at KSTC we raise three different species of cockroach and presently have about 6,000 individuals. These insects are used in studies of the nervous system.

KSN - Vol 16, No 2 - What Biologists Do

The laboratory technician and the graduate student both make valuable contributions to a research program.

Scientists know a great deal about how single nerve cells work and even about how one nerve cell communicates with another. They know a great deal less about how nerve cells are organized into brains which direct the behavior of an animal. It is difficult to study this problem in higher animals because their brains consist of billions of cells with almost limitless possibilities for interconnections. Furthermore, the brain cells frequently deteriorate and die soon after the animal is opened for study.

The insect nervous system, on the other hand, has relatively few nerve cells, and in many cases the nervous system can continue to function for several hours after it is completely removed from the insect's body. The cockroach is a convenient insect to use in studies of the nervous system because it is relatively large (and quite common!), and its nerve cells are organized into 11 discrete ganglia.

Each of these ganglia contains only a few hundred to a few thousand nerve cells, yet it processes nervous information in much the same way as a much larger, more complex brain. We are studying the way nerve cells are arranged in these ganglia, the kinds of sensory information they receive, and the kinds of commands they send to the muscles they control. When this part of the study is complete, tiny electrodes will be inserted into the ganglia and nervous messages will be recorded from small groups of nerve cells. This process is very much like putting a wire tap on a telephone switchboard to listen in to telephone calls. Only we use it to "listen in" to nerve cells "talking" to each other.

By learning how small groups of nerve cells can act together, we may be able to establish some basic principles that will be helpful in the study of larger and more complex brains and the behavior they control.

ALABASTER

Have you ever had a nightmare where you had a hazy dream that you were being watched by some hypnotic and evil eye? Actually, the eye shown in the picture below is neither hypnotic or evil. It is the right eye of Alabaster, the Biology Department's pet albino rattlesnake. The milky color of the eye shows that he is about to shed his skin. Coming to the Biology Department ten years ago when only about seventeen inches long, some three- hundred-plus rat and mouse meals later he is now over forty-five inches in length. Were all his rattles still attached he would have a string several inches long, as he has shed over thirty times (a rattlesnake gains a rattle each time it sheds its skin). Note the heat-sensitive opening between the eye and the nostril which gives this group the name "pit vipers."

KSN - Vol 16, No 2 - What Biologists Do


In the over fifteen years The Kansas School Naturalist has been published the mailing list has grown to over 7000 mailings per issue. Undoubtedly a considerable number of the names can now be removed from the moiling list due to changes in occupation, interest, retirement, etc.

To update our mailing list and card files to include only those currently interested in receiving the publication, we are asking you to fill out and mail us the blank below. As of issue No. 1, Vol. 17, October 1970, the moiling list will be composed of those who have returned the information requested.


ASSISTANCE WITH STUDENT RESEARCH

You and your students may receive help in developing student research from members of the KSTC biology faculty and biology majors. Teachers and students are invited to come to the college campus where trained persons with diverse backgrounds are available for consultation. A student should have an area of interest and a problem in mind before seeking help. The help he could expect would consist of a refinement of the problem, means for controlling variables, sources of equipment and supplies, location of reference materials or resource persons, methods of data collection, and analysis of data. If you desire to bring students to the campus for up to one-half day consultations, please contact Dr. Harold Durst at least two weeks prior to the anticipated visit, providing him with the following information: first and second choice times for the visit, names of the students and the titles of their individual research problems.

Brochure for Prospective Students

A booklet designed just for prospective students is now available on request from the Department of Biology, K.S.T.C. It has been written especially for high school seniors and junior college transfers who are considering biology as a career. The faculty, laboratories, equipment, Ross Natural History Reservation, and other special facilities are described and pictured. There is also information about course offerings, degree requirements, transfer of credits, and other facts of interest to prospective students.

A Chance to Spend Six Weeks in the Unspoiled Wilderness -Plus Six Hours of College Credit!

Students of biology may earn six hours of undergraduate or graduate credit while spending six weeks back-packing into the wilderness country of the Wind Rivers Range in western Wyoming during the summer of 1970. Three six week sessions, lead by biologists from the K.S.T.C. staff, will be offered. For further information concerning these courses w rite to Dr. Robert J. Boles, Associate Professor of Biology, Kansas State Teachers College.

Audubon Screen Tour

The Department of Biology will present the last of the twelfth Audubon Screen Tour Series on April 6, 1970. Albert J. Wool, an excellent naturalist and photographer, will personally supply the narration as he shows his all-color motion picture entitled Coastline California. The program will be given in Albert Taylor Hall on the KSTC Campus at 7:30 p.m. Both group and single admission tickets are available. For further information write Dr. John D. Ransom, Deportment of Biology, KSTC, Emporia, Kansas 66801.


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