We present results from the first year of a three-year extramurally funded project involving a partnership between an ethnically diverse urban high school and professional research botanists. The goals are to provide students exposure to real-world science, broaden interest in scientific fields of study, and increase floristic data and herbarium specimen collections in under-sampled areas of Solano County, California. A floristic survey was conducted in a 425-acre, open-space public park in Vacaville, California, that is actively grazed by cattle and characterized by grasses, forbs, and oaks. A total of 77 students were enrolled in the course associated with the partnership, and 47 participated in four visits to the collection site. Twenty-five unique plant specimens were collected, including 14 native and 11 introduced species. Results of a student perception survey suggest that the partnership has had a positive impact on students’ understanding of scientific methodology and interest in pursuing a science career. Perception survey results were disaggregated by ethnicity; Hispanic students, more than any other group, indicated that they feel more confident in scientific research and writing skills. There was no significant difference between male and female students’ responses.

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