Women in Science: South Dakota FO hosts booth at Conference

Story and photos by Brenda Shierts, Archaeologist, South Dakota Field Office

Women in Science Expo
BLM South Dakota Field Office Cartographic Technicians
Anne Dunkel and Laura Muse.
Women in Science Expo
BLM Archaeologist Brenda Shierts and
middle school volunteers, Owen Udager
and Dee Daniels.

South Dakota Field Office staff worked with two BLM volunteers from Sturgis Middle School to set up a hands-on exhibit of some of the biological, cultural, and technical resources that the BLM manages.

“Youth in Science Rapid City, South Dakota” hosted its “Women in Science” conference on March 10 at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. More than 800 seventh grade girls visited many hands-on learning exhibits focused solely on STEM careers.

BLM Cartographic Technicians Anne Dunkel and Laura Muse, who also have careers in Hydrology and Range Conservation, and BLM Archaeologist Brenda Shierts, displayed South Dakota soils, cultural artifacts and dinosaur bones along with a fish biology station and 3D exhibits of contour mapping.

The students learned how to determine soil texture and build contour elevations of Bear Butte and see it in 3D on the computer. They also saw the organ components of a freshwater fish. Artifacts from Plains Indian Tribes and Fort Meade soldiers, fossils, and dinosaur bones common to the area helped the girls learn more about the outdoor expeditions the BLM conducts for resource and heritage protectio