Last Tuesday current MERO students had the opportunity to visit Planet Granite Belmont and try their hands (and feet!) at Rock Climbing! Student cheered each other on as they tackled the rock, and pushed themselves to try challenging routes. This was a very important event for building a strong group culture and morale, as students learned through climbing to support each other and trust Tyler and I. Thank you Planet Granite for allowing us this amazing opportunity and for being a strong supporter of MERO!
The very next day Tyler and I roped in again to take a group of MERO alumni climbing. Three of the students had been on our alumni climbing trip in November and were eager to get back at it again. The favorite route was a slightly overhung crack climb that challenged the students' abilities. Students already are asking about when we can go back and climb again!
Yesterday we had our first field trip of the 2019 MERO program! We started off the year with a tour of the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, which is a nature reserve and research station owned by Stanford University. It is also a perennial favorite hang out for MERO students! Scroll down to see photos of our students exploring the reserve, checking out the wildlife, and having a lot of fun!
Our students loved getting a close look at wildlife with our full set of binoculars. Here are two of them learning to use the binoculars while looking at ducks on Searsville Lake.
Posing for a photo while learning about biodiversity. We did a biodiversity scavenger hunt to see who could find and document the greatest variety of life.
Left to right: MERO co-founder Ahzha McFadden, 2019 participant Rina, and 2019 student coordinator Jack looking cool on the Searsville Dam. Jack participated in the 2017 MERO program and was thrilled to be back at Jasper Ridge as a student leader.
Over the next four months, we'll be going out to the field every two weeks with these students, doing hands-on ecological research and exploring beautiful natural areas.
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We kicked off MERO 2019 on Wednesday with a family dinner and information night, featuring special guest and Stanford professor of biology Rodolfo Dirzo. Thank you to all of the families for coming out and to Rodolfo for your inspiring presentation. We have a very enthusiastic group of students this year, and we're looking forward to our first day in the field next week! Stay tuned for photos, videos, and stories from the field!
Welcome to La Mera Ciencia, the official blog of Menlo-Atherton Ecology Research Outdoors (MERO). Founded in 2017, MERO is a free, after-school environmental education program for high school English Language Learners that gets students outside doing ecology. Mero (or mera for feminine words like ciencia) is Spanish for "legit" or "the real thing", which is exactly the kind of science we do in the MERO program!