New partnership allows Luther students to get out of the classro - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New partnership allows Luther students to get out of the classroom, into the field

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DECORAH (KWWL) -

A unique and new partnership between Luther College and the Raptor Resource Project will help immerse students in the subjects they're studying.

Thanks to a grant from the Iowa DNR, they've been able to build a trapping station near the college, where they'll be able work with the birds they study more closely.

Not only will they be able to observe and count bird populations, but they'll be able to trap birds and band them, in order to better study their migration patterns.

"Young people have this view of science happening in a laboratory, with people in white coats, looking into microscopes. They don't see scientists running around in the woods, trapping birds, holding birds, collecting data out here on days like today. They don't see that as a scientific endeavor," sad Emily Neal, who works at Luther College.

She plans to bring a number of different groups of students out to get up close and personal with nature.

"It's a magical, sort of transformational experience to see a bird up close," she said.

The blind itself is bigger than most, and will allow students and researchers the chance to observe, trap and band birds all at the same time.

"But there's plenty of viewing ports and plenty of room to move in there, so we can put the bands on, do the measurements and still actively trap and have plenty of room to operate in there. And have groups in there that can enjoy the activity," said David Kester with the Raptor Resource Project.

Both Luther and RRP hoping this project will make a lasting impact.

"For some of the students who get to hold them, to have that heartbeat pulsing with theirs, to have that deep connection...it is life changing," Neal said.

They hope to have the trapping station up and running by the end of next week.

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