Coming as no surprise, Texas A&M University found itself searching for ways to effectively teach students, while keeping them safe. The Gardens was happy to help and hosted several classes this past semester, continuing our support of the academic mission.
One of these classes was taught by Dr. Katie Stoddard of the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, was even honored by the Association of Former Students for her outstanding efforts using of The Gardens to teach her class during COVID-19.
During the pandemic, she used The Gardens to teach environmental sampling in her Sampling and Environmental Monitoring class. During “Sampling Days” as she called it, she divided her students in small, socially distant groups of four to seven students and took them to The Gardens to conduct surface, groundwater and soil sampling.
“I love using The Gardens because it facilitates real-world experiences for the students in a beautiful and convenient location,” Stoddard said. “The ‘Sampling Days’ were the highlight of the semester for many of my students because they were able to get outside, away from their screens where most of the classes were being taught, and get hands-on experience with the techniques and equipment we discussed in class.”