The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Hurley students connect with Purdue University


February 25, 2017

Richard Jenkins/Daily Globe photo

A GROUP of Hurley K-12 students Skype with researchers at Purdue University Friday. Conservation specialist Zach Wilson, standing, organized the partnership as a way to expose the students to additional natural resources careers.

HURLEY - A group of Hurley K-12 students had the opportunity to talk to students in Purdue University's Forestry and Natural Resources program via Skype Friday afternoon.

The interaction provided another way to expose the Hurley students to potential careers, said Zach Wilson, a conservation specialist with the Iron County Land and Water Conservation Department.

"(It's a way) to expose kids to natural resources as a profession," Wilson said.

Wilson thought the day went really well, saying one of the big comments he heard from the Purdue students was they wished it could have lasted longer than the scheduled hour.

"They wanted to ask more questions," Wilson said.

Wilson first connected with the Purdue students through Casey Day, a graduate research assistant in the program who was doing research on Iron County's American marten population.

Wilson said Day was working to examine the animals' DNA in an attempt to determine where they came from.

The Skype call began with the Purdue students providing an overview of some of the work they have done in their different fields, including bird banding, a fish survey, as well as working with reptiles and amphibians.

After that, Wilson gave an overview of the county and the marten project.

Following his presentation, the students talked about their experiences in Iron County and how they viewed life in the Northwoods.

Wilson said it produced a wide variety of views among the Hurley students, with some saying Iron County was the best place to live and others saying they can't wait to move away for college.

This was the purpose of having the Hurley students talk to the Purdue students, according to Wilson, as Day wanted to expose his students people who live in the Northwoods - giving the university students a bit of real-life experience, rather than the bubble of academia.

"(The partnership) is about exposing Purdue to our students and vice versa," Wilson said.

In March, Wilson said the Purdue students are planning to come up to the county for a field day.


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