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SFS Annual Meeting

Thursday, May 24, 2018
14:00 - 15:30

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14:00 - 14:15: / 320 AUTHENTIC UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH EXPERIENCES IN GENERAL BIOLOGY LABS INSPIRED BY FRESHWATER ECOLOGY AND AQUATIC ENTOMOLOGY

5/24/2018  |   14:00 - 14:15   |  320

AUTHENTIC UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH EXPERIENCES IN GENERAL BIOLOGY LABS INSPIRED BY FRESHWATER ECOLOGY AND AQUATIC ENTOMOLOGY The over-emphasis on memorization of content (definitions, concepts, names) in introductory science courses, combined with a weeding-out, deficit-mentality philosophy of teaching, has pushed generations of students away from undergraduate majors and careers in the sciences. Course-based undergraduate research experiences are designed to engage students in the excitement of science, emphasize an understanding of core concepts and scientific competencies, and encourage students as contributing members of the scientific community. We used research questions and approaches from freshwater ecology and aquatic entomology to design multi-week authentic research experiences for a second-semester general biology laboratory course. Students used stream benthic macroinvertebrates to explore community ecology and ecological data analysis in one 3-week module. Another module introduced students to morphological and molecular phylogenetics and landscape genetics using DNA barcoding of target aquatic insect taxa, and asked students to interpret inter- and intra-species phylogenies based on evolutionary processes. The course culminated in students sharing their own independent research study in a poster session. Overall, students had increased enthusiasm and engagement in the process of science in the redesigned course compared to a traditional laboratory course.

Matthew Cover (Primary Presenter/Author), California State University, Stanislaus, mcover@csustan.edu;


Christine Parisek (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), California State University, Stanislaus, cparisek@csustan.edu;


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14:15 - 14:30: / 320 CONDUCTING FRESHWATER RESEARCH AT A PRIMARILY UNDERGRADUATE INSTITUTION: THE RESEARCH COURSE SEQUENCE

5/24/2018  |   14:15 - 14:30   |  320

CONDUCTING FRESHWATER RESEARCH AT A PRIMARILY UNDERGRADUATE INSTITUTION: THE RESEARCH COURSE SEQUENCE The NSF recognizes over 2,700 institutions categorized as Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs). These institutions do not have the typical body of graduate-student and post-graduate researchers that usually carry out research activities. Undergraduate students are carrying a full course load to complete their degrees in four years – approximately five courses per semester, sometimes more. Most undergraduate students do not have the time to be involved with, let alone conduct, independent research projects. At Daemen College, a PUI in Buffalo, NY, the Natural Sciences department has made research activities a priority and requirement for degree completion. Our five-semester course sequence dedicates time for students to learn how to read primary literature, conduct a literature review, design experiments, and disseminate results in multiple forms. We utilize “research contracts” to ensure that grade-granting standards are tailored to each student and their project. Supervising faculty members also encourage students to present work at regional and international conferences, and ultimately to publish. An outline of this course sequence and relevant materials is presented to broaden the conversation about structured undergraduate research outside of a typical research lab structure.

Sarah Whorley (Primary Presenter/Author), Daemen College, swhorley@daemen.edu;


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14:30 - 14:45: / 320 AQUATIC BIODIVERSITY IN THE BAHAMAS: ENGAGING UNDERGRADUATES IN RESEARCH THROUGH A FACULTY-LED STUDY ABROAD EXPERIENCE

5/24/2018  |   14:30 - 14:45   |  320

AQUATIC BIODIVERSITY IN THE BAHAMAS: ENGAGING UNDERGRADUATES IN RESEARCH THROUGH A FACULTY-LED STUDY ABROAD EXPERIENCE Aquatic habitats are facing significant environmental pressures including consequences of climate change, habitat loss, and invasive species. Considering these issues, it is essential that the next generation of aquatic ecologists be well-trained with the abilities to design strong studies, trouble-shoot in the field, think on their feet, and act confidently as principle investigators. Well-developed faculty-led study abroad experiences are an excellent way for students to develop these skills. This talk describes an undergraduate course in Marine and Island Ecology, where the lab portion of the course is held abroad at a field station in the Bahamas. Prior to travel, students lead full lectures on habitats and organisms that will be encountered, discuss relevant literature, and develop research proposals for a study they will carry out while abroad. In the Bahamas, students conduct research in various habitats including inland lakes and ponds, intertidal caves, rocky shores, and reef systems. Upon return to campus, the remainder of the semester is devoted to analyzing data, preparing presentations, and writing final papers, some of which are suitable for publication. Challenges, successes, and benefits associated with leading this type of course will be discussed.

Alyssa Anderson (Primary Presenter/Author), Northern State University, alyssa.m.anderson@northern.edu;


Katherine M. Wollman (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), South Dakota State University, katherine.wollman@jacks.sdstate.edu;


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14:45 - 15:00: / 320 DEVELOPING ECOLOGICAL THINKING IN FRESHWATER SYSTEMS IN INTEGRATED INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY AND CHEMISTRY COURSES FOR FRESHMEN LIFE SCIENCE MAJORS

5/24/2018  |   14:45 - 15:00   |  320

DEVELOPING ECOLOGICAL THINKING IN FRESHWATER SYSTEMS IN INTEGRATED INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY AND CHEMISTRY COURSES FOR FRESHMEN LIFE SCIENCE MAJORS Developing ecological thinking in freshmen undergraduate students is a daunting task. Vision and Change (2011) made calls for undergraduates to learn science as a process and use quantitative reasoning in interdisciplinary ways but challenges to curriculum development that supports these notions persist. In response to this and other national calls, the University of Delaware developed a unique program for freshmen life science majors that integrates both introductory biology and introductory chemistry and provides students the support to develop needed skills through active learning methods. Here I present a six-week lecture, laboratory, and studio module that helps students integrate both biological and chemical concepts using lotic ecosystems as a model. Students authentically explore water quality issues within the State of Delaware and ecological concepts like spatial and temporal patterns of biogeochemical cycling and community interactions. Students develop observation skills by first exploring aquarium mesocosms followed by collecting field samples on UD's campus and subsequent laboratory analysis. They finally present self-designed research questions through posters. While structure is in place for learning to occur, assessments need to be developed still to better analyze learning gains.

Alenka Hlousek-Radojcic (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Delaware, alenkahr@udel.edu;


Jacqueline Fajardo (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Delaware, jfarjardo@udel.edu;


Seth Hunt (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Delaware, sethhunt@udel.edu;


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15:00 - 15:15: / 320 DEVELOPING COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH TO TAKE FRESHWATER SCIENCE EDUCATION OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM: THE STORY OF NORTHEAST GLEON

5/24/2018  |   15:00 - 15:15   |  320

DEVELOPING COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH TO TAKE FRESHWATER SCIENCE EDUCATION OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM: THE STORY OF NORTHEAST GLEON A critical component of undergraduate education is participation in research. Research experiences for undergraduates are often short-term, and may not foster peer collaborations. However, participation in collaborative team science is an essential component of aquatic sciences. The Global Lakes Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) is an international grassroots collaborative network of scientists. GLEON meetings are structured to foster the sharing of new ideas and generation of collaborative research. We aimed to create a similar experience for undergraduates, creating a space where their research questions and ideas could be implemented into actionable research. For the last three years, we have used an annual undergraduate-focused conference (Northeast GLEON) to foster inclusion of undergraduate students in regional team science. As a team of faculty primarily at undergraduate-focused institutions, we bring together students to generate research ideas. Additionally, students learn skills through intensive workshops (R, modeling), participate in career path discussions, and share their research results. Many of these students return to their home institutions to participate in common experiments and develop manuscripts. We see the potential for this model to expand, providing opportunities for undergraduate students to actively participate in aquatic science research.

Denise Bruesewitz (Primary Presenter/Author), Colby College, dabruese@colby.edu;


Lisa Borre (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Cary Institute, borrel@caryinstitute.org ;


Jen Klug (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Fairfield University, jklug@fairfield.edu;


David Richardson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), SUNY New Paltz, Department of Biology, richardsond@newpaltz.edu;


Kathleen Weathers (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, weathersk@caryinstitute.org;


Courtney Wigdahl-Perry (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), State University of New York at Fredonia, Courtney.Wigdahl@fredonia.edu ;


Kiyoko Yokota (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), State University of New York at Oneonta, kiyoko.yokota@oneonta.edu ;


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15:15 - 15:30: / 320 FROM MACROINVERTEBRATES TO MICROSCOPES: INTEGRATING INDEPENDENT RESEARCH IN AQUATIC ECOLOGY IN UPPER- AND LOWER-DIVISION COURSES

5/24/2018  |   15:15 - 15:30   |  320

FROM MACROINVERTEBRATES TO MICROSCOPES: INTEGRATING INDEPENDENT RESEARCH IN AQUATIC ECOLOGY IN UPPER- AND LOWER-DIVISION COURSES Providing opportunities for students to conduct independent research is a key step in encouraging students’ development as scientists, engaging them more deeply in their coursework, and promoting critical thinking and synthesis of ideas. The field of aquatic ecology provides a myriad of inexpensive project topics that are readily accessible to, and understandable by, students. I will discuss how such projects can be framed in syllabi, potential course/laboratory schedules, and examples of projects my students have completed.

Carissa Ganong (Primary Presenter/Author), Missouri Western State University, carissa.ganong@gmail.com;


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