342As St. Mary’s University continues to expand its Bachelor of Science Degree program students are able to take advantage of experiential learning opportunities more often. These hands on experiences allow students to take the concepts learned in the classroom and apply them to real life.

Most recently one of Dr. Mary Ann McLean’s Biology classes was given the opportunity to participate in a Mushroom Foray through Fish Creek Park with local expert Dr. Suzanne Visser. Students from Dr. McLean’s class utilized the technical knowledge they had acquired in the lab on St. Mary’s campus to explore this rich habitat and identify various species of fungi in the area.

365Dr. Visser’s keen eye and astounding knowledge base made this experience incredibly engaging for students who continuously attempted to find a sample with which they could stump her. This proved nearly impossible as Dr. Visser demonstrated her ability to identify even the tiniest of species.

404Opportunities such as this to apply practical skills are incredibly valuable for students, and St. Mary’s proximity to Fish Creek Provincial Park enables us to provide many such experiences as a part of our degree programs. As St. Mary’s continues to grow our programming has become increasingly rich and diverse as has our focus on experiential learning. In 2016 we look forward to giving our students the opportunity to participate in off campus experiences such as a trip to the West Coast, trips to Kananaskis and our Indigenous Knowledge Camp, to name a few.