A Craven Community College (Craven CC) biology class recently enjoyed a field trip to the Cool Springs Environmental Education Center, along with a $1,000 grant from Weyerhaeuser to enhance and encourage biology field experiences.
The biology class, led by instructor Cindy Seymour, learned they were the recipients of the grant at the end of the spring semester. It was funded by the Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund’s WAVES employee volunteer grant. John Minter, wood flow manager at Weyerhaeuser, applied for the grant, which is given to employees who apply for specific projects they wish to fund.
“Two areas of Weyerhaeuser’s core values are citizenship and sustainability,” he said. “These core values are the reason I chose Ms. Seymour’s class to apply for the Giving Fund’s WAVES Grant.”
Minter led the class on a field trip to the Cool Springs Environmental Education Center. This 1,700-acre property is owned by Weyerhaeuser and is a frequent field trip destination for local classes. It provides hands-on opportunities for students to learn about forestry, ecology and environmental issues.
“Being involved with the field trip gave me the opportunity to support our local community through volunteering and providing an opportunity for students to experience our beautiful outdoor classroom that is Cool Springs Environmental Education Center,” said Minter. “It also gave me an opportunity to share with the students the importance of forestry as a renewable, sustainable resource.”
The students learned about the diverse ecosystems found locally, as well as the history of Cool Springs. They also observed the unique flora and fauna in each ecosystem, and Weyerhaeuser staff spoke briefly about their educational backgrounds and careers in forestry.
“Science isn’t something that happens in faraway places, but rather it is happening all around us,” said Seymour. “Visiting places like Cool Springs or Latham-Whitehurst Nature Park or even studying the campus environment allows students to see science in action.”
Seymour emphasized the importance of giving students the opportunity to connect what is discussed in the classroom and what they read in textbooks with the place in which they live.
“We are lucky to have partners like Mr. Minter and Weyerhaeuser contributing to the overall development and success of our students,” she said. “With the funds, we plan to purchase additional equipment to enhance our students’ experiences in the laboratory and field settings.”
Such additions include sampling equipment and various “traps” and devices that will allow students to sample, observe and detect which species are found in a variety of sites.
“I am very excited that the funds will help develop the biology program at Craven Community College,” added Minter. “We are committed to our local communities and it is an honor to represent Weyerhaeuser in such opportunities.”
Anyone interesting in attending Craven CC is encouraged to stop by the admissions department in Barker Hall on the New Bern campus, or apply online at http://cravencc.edu/admissions/application/.