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# Introductory Biology

• ### Air Quality Data Mining: Mining the US EPA AirData website for student-led evaluation of air quality issues

Learning Objectives
Students 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.
• ### Dynamic Daphnia: An inquiry-based research experience in ecology that teaches the scientific process to first-year...

Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
• Construct written predictions about 1 factor experiments.
• Interpret simple (2 variables) figures.
• Construct simple (2 variables) figures from data.
• Design simple 1 factor experiments with appropriate controls.
• Demonstrate proper use of standard laboratory items, including a two-stop pipette, stereomicroscope, and laboratory notebook.
• Calculate means and standard deviations.
• Given some scaffolding (instructions), select the correct statistical test for a data set, be able to run a t-test, ANOVA, chi-squared test, and linear regression in Microsoft Excel, and be able to correctly interpret their results.
• Construct and present a scientific poster.
• ### An active-learning lesson that targets student understanding of population growth in ecology

Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
• Calculate and compare population density and abundance.
• Identify whether a growth curve describes exponential, linear, and/or logistic growth.
• Describe and calculate a population's growth rate using linear, exponential, and logistic models.
• Explain the influence of carrying capacity and population density on growth rate.
• ### CURE-all: Large Scale Implementation of Authentic DNA Barcoding Research into First-Year Biology Curriculum

Learning Objectives
Students will be able to: Week 1-4: Fundamentals of Science and Biology
• List the major processes involved in scientific discovery
• List the different types of scientific studies and which types can establish causation
• Design experiments with appropriate controls
• Create and evaluate phylogenetic trees
• Define taxonomy and phylogeny and explain their relationship to each other
• Explain DNA sequence divergence and how it applies to evolutionary relationships and DNA barcoding
Week 5-6: Ecology
• Define and measure biodiversity and explain its importance
• Catalog organisms using the morphospecies concept
• Geographically map organisms using smartphones and an online mapping program
• Calculate metrics of species diversity using spreadsheet software
• Use spreadsheet software to quantify and graph biodiversity at forest edges vs. interiors
• Write a formal lab report
Week 7-11: Cellular and Molecular Biology
• Extract, amplify, visualize and sequence DNA using standard molecular techniques (PCR, gel electrophoresis, Sanger sequencing)
• Explain how DNA extraction, PCR, gel electrophoresis, and Sanger sequencing work at the molecular level
Week 12-13: Bioinformatics
• Trim and assemble raw DNA sequence data
• Taxonomically identify DNA sequences isolated from unknown organisms using BLAST
• Visualize sequence data relationships using sequence alignments and gene-based phylogenetic trees
• Map and report data in a publicly available online database
• Share data in a formal scientific poster
• ### Does it pose a threat? Investigating the impact of Bt corn on monarch butterflies

Learning Objectives
Students 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
• ### Coevolution or not? Crossbills, squirrels and pinecones

Learning Objectives
1. Define coevolution.
2. Identify types of evidence that would help determine whether two species are currently in a coevolutionary relationship.
3. Interpret graphs.
4. Evaluate evidence about whether two species are coevolving and use evidence to make a scientific argument.
5. Describe what evidence of a coevolutionary relationship might look like.
6. Distinguish between coadaptation and coevolution.
• ### A first lesson in mathematical modeling for biologists: Rocs

Learning Objectives
• Systematically develop a functioning, discrete, single-species model of an exponentially-growing or -declining population.
• Use the model to recommend appropriate action for population management.
• Communicate model output and recommendations to non-expert audiences.
• Generate a collaborative work product that most individuals could not generate on their own, given time and resource constraints.