Twenty-five years later, the University of Utah’s Center for Stable IsoTop (CIC) has been given the unique opportunity to develop future leaders in science – both in the future and in the world.
A.D. Launched in 1996 by University of Utah professors Jim Elelenger and Toure Serling, Iso Camp is a two-week short course designed to show students the wide range of stable isotopes to show students from a variety of disciplines. Since Isotope facilities are not readily available on every university campus, Iso Camp serves as a source of instruction for students interested in expanding their knowledge of stable isotope analysis.
Above all, it has created a strong community of approximately 1,000 graduates who have co-founded companies, co-produced many publications and created incredibly unique connections.
CSI was originally scheduled to start the first year of Iso Camp in 2020 at USM, but had to be canceled for the first time in its history due to the epidemic. As of August 2-13 this year, 35 physical students and 14 virtual students from 42 universities have successfully completed their studies across the country and around the world. In addition, 25 faculty members from 17 universities presented both in person and in practice during the two weeks.
CSI Director Professor Zekari Sharp reflected on the first year of the course at USM. After deleting it last year, there was a lot of wrist and animation discussions about whether we should move forward. “What will we do if everyone closes again? A lot of planning and effort went into this, and we wanted to fix it right. In the end, it was a total success. The student’s interest in the subject was out of the question. ”
Eleanerger and Sirling were two of the guest faculty members who came to the USAAM to start the opening year of the Iso Camp. A biologist and a geologist, Elelenger and Sirling, respectively, thought that the students’ ability to learn from each other could be extended through IsoCamp.
According to Serling, hosting IsoCamp is a “future investment in the field.” Much of the research being conducted in the CIA laboratory had to be stopped for two weeks so that the students could use their equipment and have faculty support.
Gathering 1st and 2nd year graduates in biology, anthropology, geology, ecology: The list is endless: Iso Camp provides an opportunity for in-depth isotope studies to gain a deeper understanding of practical applications.
Over the course of two weeks, students were able to not only learn hands-on learning at one of the world’s largest stable isotope facilities, but also have unlimited options for a variety of samples.
“There are things we can’t do here in New Mexico. Your ecological diversity is amazing – river, mountain, alpine, urban agriculture አሉ There are many opportunities to quickly collect the samples you need. They don’t travel for hours, ”said Elanger.
The importance of New Mexico’s ecological diversity lies in its implementation. A stable isotope has an indestructible nucleus over time. Researchers now come across a variety of atomic masses based on the amount of neutrons that can be used to gather vast amounts of information, including age, diet, environment – and how animals migrated throughout history. They allow us to see the past literally.
According to Elanger, in the laboratory and in the field, there is a great opportunity to learn beyond the experiences of students, “Lessons are small parts. The big part is developing relationships and community. Getting to Know Your Peers; How to connect and connect. That is an important part. ”
“Often the students meet with one faculty and say, ‘I like to measure that, but we can’t do that at our institution. I came to your lab … Can I do things? ‘We have a lot of people.’
During the two-week courses and field activities, students had the opportunity to get to know each other through a variety of activities, including isotropic play, jogging in the gym, and eating at Albuquerque. Every effort has been made to ensure that all of this is safe. Everyone present was vaccinated, wore masks, and the classroom space was six feet apart.
Despite these challenges, Iso Camp students are still able to make connections that encourage learning. Some got tattoos here to celebrate their experience here in Albuquerque. Some continue their education by working in the laboratory of some of the greatest experts in the field. Everyone has made new friends and is now part of a community of great researchers who continue to meet in their careers.
In the next few months, Matthew Titbohl from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia will continue his CIS studies and expand his experience at Iso Camp.
“I learned a lot about isotope analysis techniques because I was far away from my usual wheelchair research,” said Theatball. It was great to learn about these different techniques and isotopes, as they can be used as a tool to understand my research questions, my ecology.
Malia Smith, Ph.D. A North Carolina University student at Wilmington also attended the Iso Camp this year: I have made many new friends and contacts outside of school, and I know that IsoCamp will continue to improve in the new direction at UNM.
“We are honored to have the opportunity to continue the legacy of Iso Camp here in the USA,” said Ceti Newsom, Associate Director of Biology at CSI. I would like to thank the founders of the course and all the teachers who dedicated their time and energy to making IsoCamp a unique learning experience. The new PAÍS building and our laboratories in the Stable IsoTop Center are the perfect locations for this short course, and we look forward to many more years to host IsoCamp.