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Squirrels in Space: Using Radio Telemetry to Explore the Space Use and Movement of Sciurid RodentsLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- Use VHF (Very High Frequency) radio telemetry to track the space use of a sciurid (squirrel) species in a study area.
- Explain why VHF radio telemetry is the most appropriate and widely used method for tracking the space use of sciurids.
- Discuss potential applications of data collected in class for wildlife management and conservation.
Out of Your Seat and on Your Feet! An adaptable course-based research project in plant ecology for advanced studentsLearning ObjectivesStudents will:
- Articulate testable hypotheses. (Lab 8, final presentation/paper, in-class exercises)
- Analyze data to determine the level of support for articulated hypotheses. (Labs 4-7, final presentation/paper)
- Identify multiple species of plants in the field quickly and accurately. (Labs 2-3, field trip)
- Measure environmental variables and sample vegetation in the field. (Labs 2-3, field trip)
- Analyze soil samples using a variety of low-tech lab techniques. (Open labs after field trip)
- Use multiple statistical techniques to analyze data for patterns. (Labs 4-8, final presentation/paper)
- Interpret statistical analyses to distinguish between strong and weak interactions in a biological system. (Labs 4-7, final presentation/paper)
- Develop and present a conference-style presentation in a public forum. (Lab 8, final presentation/paper)
- Write a publication-ready research paper communicating findings and displaying data. (Lab 8, final presentation/paper)
Modeling Strep Throat Detection, Infection, and Spread Using an SIR Model and the Vensim Simulation SoftwareLearning ObjectivesAfter this activity students should be able to:
- predict the outcome of an outbreak due to changes in the factors that influence the acquisition and spread of infectious disease.
- use a Vensim biological model to investigate the acquisition and spread of infectious disease.
- generate and interpret output from a Vensim model.
Authentic Ecological Inquiries Using BearCam ArchivesLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- conduct an authentic ecological inquiry including
- generate a testable hypothesis based on observations,
- design investigation with appropriate sampling selection and variables,
- collect and analyze data following the design, and
- interpret results and draw conclusions based on the evidence.
- write a research report with appropriate structure and style.
- evaluate the quality of inquiry reports using a rubric.
- conduct peer review to evaluate and provide feedback to others' work.
- revise the inquiry report based on peer feedback and self-assessment.
- conduct an authentic ecological inquiry including
Exploring the Broader Impacts of Science and Society in an Active Learning EnvironmentLearning Objectives
- Students will be able to define the phrase ‘broader impacts of science.’
- Students will be able to describe current and historical relationships between science and society.
- Students will be able to identify methods by and contexts in which scientific research is applied in the public sphere.
- Students will be able to map complex interactions between science and society.
- Students will be able to evaluate the effectiveness of different public engagement strategies.
Fruit Fly Genetics in a Day: A Guided Exploration to Help Many Large Sections of Beginning Students Uncover the Secrets...Learning Objectives
- Students will be able to handle and anesthetize Drosophila fruit flies.
- Students will be able to use a dissecting microscope to sex Drosophila fruit flies.
- Students will implement some steps of the scientific method.
- Students will successfully predict the results of sex-linked genetics crosses.
- Students will interpret genetic data.
Discovery Poster ProjectLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- identify and learn about a scientific research discovery of interest to them using popular press articles and the primary literature
- find a group on campus doing research that aligns with their interests and communicate with the faculty leader of that group
- create and present a poster that synthesizes their knowledge of the research beyond the discovery
Cutthroat trout in Colorado: A case study connecting evolution and conservationLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- interpret figures such as maps, phylogenies, STRUCTURE plots, and networks for species delimitation
- identify sources of uncertainty and disagreement in real data sets
- propose research to address or remedy uncertainty
- construct an evidence-based argument for the management of a rare taxon
From Cre/LoxP to Fate Maps: Inclusive and Equitable Approaches for Engaging Developmental Biology Students in...Learning Objectives
- Create genetic methods to determine the fate map of cardiac muscle cells during mouse and zebrafish development.
- Distinguish between gene knockout and fate mapping experimental approaches using Cre/LoxP technology.
- Grasp the significance of how fate mapping methods are applied to answer important questions in developmental biology.
Does it pose a threat? Investigating the impact of Bt corn on monarch butterfliesLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- Apply genetics concepts to a relevant case study of Bt corn and monarch butterflies
- Read figures and text from primary literature
- Identify claims presented in scientific studies
- Evaluate data presented in scientific studies
- Critically reason using data
- Evaluate the consequences of GM technology on non-target organisms
- Communicate scientific data orally
Air Quality Data Mining: Mining the US EPA AirData website for student-led evaluation of air quality issuesLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- Describe various parameters of air quality that can negatively impact human health, list priority air pollutants, and interpret the EPA Air Quality Index as it relates to human health.
- Identify an air quality problem that varies on spatial and/or temporal scales that can be addressed using publicly available U.S. EPA air data.
- Collect appropriate U.S. EPA Airdata information needed to answer that/those questions, using the U.S. EPA Airdata website data mining tools.
- Analyze the data as needed to address or answer their question(s).
- Interpret data and draw conclusions regarding air quality levels and/or impacts on human and public health.
- Communicate results in the form of a scientific paper.
Using Pathway Maps to Link Concepts, Peer Review, Primary Literature Searches and Data Assessment in Large Enrollment...Learning Objectives
- Define basic concepts and terminology of Ecosystem Ecology
- Link biological processes that affect each other
- Evaluate whether the link causes a positive, negative, or neutral effect
- Find primary literature
- Identify data that correctly supports or refutes an hypothesis
Engaging Undergraduates in Mechanisms of Tubular Reabsorption and Secretion in the Mammalian KidneyLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- Describe the process by which substances are reabsorbed or secreted in the nephron by passive diffusion, primary active transport, and secondary active transport.
- Explain what causes the transport maximum for certain substances in the renal tubule.
- Explain how water is reabsorbed in the renal tubule.
- Describe the characteristics of the different segments of the nephron. List, in general, what is reabsorbed/secreted by each.
- Describe mechanisms for reabsorption and secretion in a particular segment of the nephron given a figure.
- Predict how changes to the hydrostatic and colloid osmotic forces in the kidney will affect tubular reabsorption.
- Define the molecular function of aldosterone, angiotensin II, and anti-diuretic hormone on the renal tubule and the overall effect on water and sodium reabsorption.
Integrating Manipulatives and Animations to Visualize Holliday JunctionsLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- Build representations of Holliday junctions using chenille stems.
- Describe the molecular details of heteroduplex structure in both Holliday junctions and resolved Holliday junctions.
- Correctly predict the outcomes of Holliday junction resolutions in terms of DNA structure and genetic crossover.
- State how the cell ensures high fidelity DNA replication and identify instances where the cell employs mechanisms for damage repair.
- Use mechanistic reasoning to explain how an enzyme or ribozyme catalyzes a particular reaction.
- Discuss the chemical and physical relationships between composition and structure of macromolecules.
- Compare and contrast the primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structures of proteins and nucleic acids.
Predicting and classifying effects of insertion and deletion mutations on protein coding regionsLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- accurately predict effects of frameshift mutations in protein coding regions
- conduct statistical analysis to compare expected and observed values
- become familiar with accessing and using DNA sequence databases and analysis tools
Harnessing the Power of the Immune System: Influenza VaccinesLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- discuss how the immune system functions to maintain homeostasis of the human body, especially during an influenza infection.
- describe how biological factors, such as sex and age, affect immune system functions.
- propose hypotheses regarding the impact of sex hormones and age on the immune response to influenza and vaccine efficacy based on feedback loops.
- design experiments with mammalian model systems and immunology-based lab assays to test hypotheses.
- analyze primary data that support or refute proposed hypotheses.
- communicate findings through poster presentations in a manner similar to a research conference.
Using Seafood Traceability to Teach the Complexities of Natural Resource Management and SustainabilityLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- Describe challenges of tracing seafood through the supply chain.
- Provide different definitions for the term "sustainable".
- Describe the limitations of consumer-driven natural resource management incentives.
- Provide examples of science and technological innovations relevant to fisheries management.
- Identify different stakeholders in the seafood supply chain.
- Explain the characteristics of data collection and research that can strengthen the effectiveness of using science to guide policy.
A Short Laboratory Module to Help Infuse Metacognition during an Introductory Course-based Research ExperienceLearning Objectives
- Students will be able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of data.
- Students will be able to employ prior knowledge in formulating a biological research question or hypothesis.
- Students will be able to distinguish a research question from a testable hypothesis.
- Students will recognize that the following are essential elements in experimental design: identifying gaps in prior knowledge, picking an appropriate approach (ex. experimental tools and controls) for testing a hypothesis, and reproducibility and repeatability.
- Students will be able to identify appropriate experimental tools, approaches and controls to use in testing a hypothesis.
- Students will be able to accurately explain why an experimental approach they have selected is a good choice for testing a particular hypothesis.
- Students will be able to discuss whether experimental outcomes support or fail to support a particular hypothesis, and in the case of the latter, discuss possible reasons why.
Understanding Protein Domains: A Modular ApproachLearning Objectives
- Students will be able to compare protein sequences and identify conserved regions and putative domains.
- Students will be able to obtain, examine, and compare structural models of protein domains.
- Students will be able to interpret data on protein interactions (in vitro pull-down and in vitro and in vivo functional assays)
- Students will be able to propose experiments to test protein interactions.
Exploring Species Interactions with "Snapshot Serengeti"Learning ObjectivesStudents will:
- Engage in meta-cognitive learning.
- Develop and conduct an authentic scientific inquiry.
- Generate a testable research question based on observations.
- Evaluate different methods of visualizing data.
- Generate and interpret graphs to answer questions.
- Communicate the results of research and the nature of science in oral and written form.
- Place exploratory research into a larger context of the scientific process.
- Participate in citizen science initiatives.
- Collaborate with peers on a scientific task.
Using a Primary Cell Culture Model to Study the Neural Extracellular MatrixLearning ObjectivesStudents will:
- Isolate single cells from dissected cerebral cortices of embryonic mice.
- Develop hypotheses and find support for these hypotheses in the literature.
- Treat primary cultures with agents to inhibit glial cell growth and increase activity levels.
- Fix and block primary cultures in addition to applying primary antibodies.
- Use fluorescence microscopes to analyze and interpret their results.
- Complete a lab report that is contextualized by primary and secondary literature.
Using Structured Decision Making to Explore Complex Environmental IssuesLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- Describe the process, challenges, and benefits of structured decision making for natural resource management decisions.
- Explain and reflect on the role of science and scientists in structured decision making and how those roles interact and compare to the roles of other stakeholders.
- Assess scientific evidence for a given management or policy action to resolve an environmental issue.
Plotting Cranial and Spinal Nerve Pathways in a Human Anatomy LabLearning Objectives
- Identify and describe the functions of cranial and spinal nerves
- Identify cranial and spinal nerve origination points and what structures they innervate
- Trace the routes that cranial and spinal nerves take throughout the body
The Case of the Missing Strawberries: RFLP analysisLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- Describe the relationship of cells, chromosomes, and DNA.
- Isolate DNA from strawberries.
- Digest DNA with restriction enzymes.
- Perform gel electrophoresis.
- Design an experiment to compare DNAs by RFLP analysis.
- Predict results of RFLP analysis.
- Interpret results of RFLP analysis.
- Use appropriate safety procedures in the lab.
Using computational molecular modeling software to demonstrate how DNA mutations cause phenotypesLearning ObjectivesStudents successfully completing this lesson will:
- Practice basic molecular biology laboratory skills such as DNA isolation, PCR, and gel electrophoresis.
- Gather and analyze quantitative and qualitative scientific data and present it in figures.
- Use bioinformatics to analyze DNA sequences and obtain protein sequences for molecular modeling.
- Make and analyze three-dimensional (3-D) protein models using molecular modeling software.
- Write a laboratory report using the collected data to explain how mutations in the DNA cause changes in protein structure/function which lead to mutant phenotypes.
Discovering Cellular Respiration with Computational Modeling and SimulationsLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- Describe how changes in cellular homeostasis affect metabolic intermediates.
- Perturb and interpret a simulation of cellular respiration.
- Describe cellular mechanisms regulating cellular respiration.
- Describe how glucose, oxygen, and coenzymes affect cellular respiration.
- Describe the interconnectedness of cellular respiration.
- Identify and describe the inputs and outputs of cellular respiration, glycolysis, pyruvate processing, citric acid cycle, and the electron transport chain.
- Describe how different energy sources are used in cellular respiration.
- Trace carbon through cellular respiration from glucose to carbon dioxide.
Understanding Gastric Acid Secretion: An Active Learning ApproachLearning Objectives
- List the channels, transporters, and receptors found on each membrane face of parietal cells.
- Explain the mechanism through which the proton pump is regulated by gastrin, histamine, somatostatin, and acetylcholine.
- Predict the effects of pharmaceuticals that are active in the stomach and their impact on GI function.
- Justify H. pylori as the cause of gastric ulcers.
Data, Distributions, and Hypotheses: Exploring Diversity and Disturbance in the Tallgrass PrairieLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- present and interpret data in a graphical format using an existing long-term data set from a published manuscript.
- identify different sources of variation within a data set and the consequences of grouping biological units into larger entities for the interpretation of results.
- apply transect-based vegetation sampling to estimate plant community composition, richness, and diversity in two different prairie restoration parcels with different burn regimes.
- summarize the transect-based vegetation data in graphs and figures to make comparisons that align with hypotheses and predictions.
- conduct simple statistical analyses to test explicit hypotheses and predictions.
- interpret statistical outputs and infer the biological implications of their results.
Tying it All Together: An Activity to Help Students Connect Course Experiences to Posted Learning OutcomesLearning ObjectivesFollowing this activity, students will be able to
- reflect on their experiences in the course.
- recognize alignment between course experiences and the course learning goals and CLOs.
- identify and describe specific examples of course experiences supportive of their achievement of each of the posted course learning goals and CLOs.
Using Current Events to Teach Written, Visual, and Oral Science CommunicationLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- Identify scientific themes in local and global current events
- Identify when scientific information is or is not communicated in a manner accessible to a general audience
- Evaluate scientific information to distinguish evidence-based statements from statements not based on evidence
- Explore the use of written, visual, and auditory methods of communicating scientific messages from local current events
- Explain the importance of translating a scientific message for a general audience
Using Comics to Make Science Come AliveLearning ObjectivesStudents will
- be motivated to learn science related to specific socio-scientific issues.
- learn science that applies to specific socio-scientific issues.
- be able to discuss the relationship between science and society, as well as the biology behind the issue, related to specific socio-scientific issues.
It's a bird! It's a plane! It's biomechanics!Learning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- identify and define forces that act on an object in flight.
- understand the definition of Newton’s third law of motion, which states that with every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, and apply this principle to explain pressure differences and lift generation.
- generate hypotheses about animal flight efficiency based on examining morphology (anatomy).
- generate hypotheses correlating wing size and performance during flight.
- apply their understanding of wing designs and wing relationships to total mass.
- compare flight principles among animals to understand the co-evolution in several animal groups.
Data Analysis Recitation Activities Support Better Understanding in SEA-PHAGES CURELearning ObjectivesOverall Broadly, following these activities, students will be able to:
- Explain the goals, procedures, and outcomes of the experiments they perform
- Analyze and interpret the data they generate
- Apply the methods they use to real-world situations
- Describe how to isolate a novel phage from a soil sample using different protocols
- Compare and contrast direct and enriched isolation protocols
- Critically analyze plaque assay results and explain experimental shortfalls
- Describe the procedures associated with isolation and purification of a phage from an environmental sample
- Compare and contrast example three-streak plates to critically analyze varying results
- Rationalize differences in three-streak plates and next step procedures
- Calculate PFU titer
- Explain the meaning of PFU
- Differentiate between the serial dilution and titer experiments
- Detail the contents of phage MTL (medium titer lysate)
- Explain the purpose of adding nuclease and resin to the MTL
- Explain the contents of their sample at various stages of the DNA isolation protocol
- Explain the function of resin in the protocol
- Differentiate between filters and columns
- Read a spectrophotometer spectrum
- Explain the significance of the 260/280 ratio in DNA isolations
- Calculate how much DNA to add to a restriction digest reaction based on its concentration
- Explain how restriction enzymes work.
- Identify restriction enzyme cutting sequences within a DNA fragment.
- Differentiate between the number of cutting sites for a restriction enzyme and the number of fragments it creates.
- Explain why and how gel electrophoresis works
- Analyze a gel by determining whether and how many times a restriction enzyme has cut a fragment of phage DNA
- Create a hypothetical gel based on a given sequence or set of fragments
- Compare their gel to known phage samples based on the number and size of DNA fragments generated by restriction enzyme digestion
Mice, Acorns, and Lyme Disease: a Case Study to Teach the Ecology of Emerging Infectious Diseases.Learning ObjectivesStudents will be able to...
- outline the life cycle of ticks and explain the transmission cycle of Lyme disease.
- describe factors that make mice a competent reservoir for Borrelia burgdorferi.
- analyze and interpret line and bar graphs of data on the effects of changes to ecological communities on the risk of human exposure to Lyme disease.
- explain how the incidence of Lyme disease is determined by interactions between bacteria, animals, humans and the environment.
- predict how changes in the ecosystem affect Borrelia burgdorferi transmission.
- explain how human activities affect biodiversity and the consequences of those actions on disease outbreaks.
Vitamin C for Colds? Writing LETTERS to Synthesize and Communicate Results from Multiple StudiesLearning ObjectivesStudents will:
- analyze and interpret data about the efficacy of vitamin C supplements to treat or prevent the common cold,
- synthesize data from three different experimental studies,
- make a recommendation to a friend or loved one about using vitamin C to treat or prevent the common cold.
Your Tax Dollars at Work: A mock grant writing experience centered on scientific process skillsLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- Propose a testable, novel question contributing to a biological field of study.
- Formulate a study rationale.
- Describe relevant background information on a topic using the primary literature.
- Choose appropriate scientific, mathematical, and statistical methods to analyze a research question.
- Determine the financial costs of a research project.
- Present a proposal for peer review and compose a constructive peer review.
- Collaborate as a member of a scientific team.
- Articulate the review criteria and process used in NSF-style proposal review.
How Many Squirrels Are in the Shrubs? A Lesson Plan for Comparing Methods for Population EstimationLearning Objectives
- Census an animal population in the same study area using three different methods.
- Quantitatively compare estimates of population size and/or density generated by each method.
- Articulate the assumptions of each method and explain how violations of these assumptions may bias the results in a given scenario.
- Select the most appropriate method for estimating population size and/or density for a given species and habitat. Justify this choice by explaining why it will produce more reliable data in this scenario than other methods.
- Possible extension: Predict how a given method will perform in a different habitat or for a different species and test this hypothesis by querying a national dataset.
Using a Sequential Interpretation of Data in Envelopes (SIDE) approach to identify a mystery TRP channelLearning Objectives
- Students will be able to analyze data from multiple experimental methodologies to determine the identity of their "mystery" TRP channel.
- Students will be able to interpret the results of individual experiments and from multiple experiments simultaneously to identify their "mystery" TRP channel.
- Students will be able to evaluate the advantages and limitations of experimental methodologies presented in this lesson.