U of I’s Rinker Rock Creek Ranch gives students hands-on learning opportunities

HAILEY, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Up in the Wood River Valley, the Rinker Rock Creek Ranch provides hands-on learning for the University of Idaho students and the public, and now thanks to a grant from Congressman Mike Simpson, they will be able to better serve the community.

University of Idaho doctorate student Georgia Harrison spends every summer at the Rinker Rock Creek Ranch.

“I need a spot to collect my data, that’s kind of the key point, I have a study down there, that we applied an herbicide and we are studying how the herbicide works and what it’s impacts were, so we have a study area down there,” said Georgia Harrison, a doctorate student at the Department of Plant Sciences.

Georgia isn’t the only student at the U of I that relies on the Rinker Rock Creek Ranch for research.

The U of I acquired the ranch in 2019, giving students at the school the opportunity for hands on learning and research.

“Rinker Rock Creek Ranch really stands as a living laboratory, integrating research, bringing students out and really using it as a living laboratory, is the goal of the University of Idaho at Rinker Rock Creek Ranch,” said Cameron Weskamp, ​​the operations manager.

Now they will be able to do better serve the students and community thanks to a federal grant from Congressman Simpson worth more than 1 million dollars.

“One of the big things that we will do with this funding, is reinforce our historic barn, it’s really the only structure that we have out there, so we want to make it to be a place we can host classes and workshops things like that , have power, solar power, things like that,” said Weskamp.

For Georgia, she says the hands on learning experience that she gets at the ranch is part of the reason she chose to attend the U of I.

“Having a great field site that is university owned down in Southern Idaho is really important,” said Harrison.

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