Local educators headed to Japan for research

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

ST. CLOUD, Minn. – Seventh-grade science teachers at two local schools and a St. Cloud State University education student and professor are headed to Japan in June. 

The group includes Kathyrn Conroy ’06, St. Cloud, St. Cloud North Middle School; Kristin Lingle ’96, Sartell, Sauk Rapids Middle School; biological sciences graduate student Jeannette Hoffer, Plymouth, Minn.; and Professor Matt Julius, biological sciences. 

The project is one outcome of a visit last fall by Dr. Shigeki Mayama of Tokyo Gakugei University, which trains many of Japan’s K-12 educators, and Dr. Megumi Saito, National Museum of Science and Nature.  The Japanese educators, who are conducting algae genomics research, visited the aquatic toxicology labs at St. Cloud State and worked on adapting for St. Cloud schools the biology curriculum they’ve developed.  Their curriculum is being used in Japan, Korea, Brazil, Poland and France, as well as St. Cloud. 

While in Japan, Conroy and Lingle will collaborate with Dr. Saito at the National Museum to conduct their thesis research on the ecology and evolution of marine algal species used to construct climate models.  Along with their K-12 curriculum work, Julius, Saito and Mayama are collaborating on research on the morphological and molecular diversity of marine algae.

Funding for the Japanese educators’ visit and the locals’ trip to Japan is from a supplement to the Assembling the Tree of Life Grant Julius received from the National Science Foundation.

St. Cloud State prepares students for high-demand employment fields around the world with more than 200 undergraduate and graduate programs in education, business, science and engineering, social studies and fine arts and humanities.


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