While thousands of visitors to Algonquin Provincial Park were canoeing and camping this summer, a small band of third-year U of T ecology students was hard at work in the park collecting data and conducting experiments with reptiles and amphibians. The group was there as part of the Research Excursions Program (REP) offered by the Faculty of Arts & Science. The program provides an opportunity for third-year students to contribute to faculty research and scholarly work in an off-campus setting.
For the students in the park, it was a chance to get their hands dirty and their feet wet and gain valuable field research experience.Njal Rollinson, a professor at the School of the Environment and the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, has been conducting research at the Wildlife Research Station in Algonquin for years and has supervised REP students for many summers.
“The Algonquin REP experience is nothing like sitting in a classroom,” says Rollinson. “The students get an appreciation for real ecological fieldwork, experimental design and data analysis.”