Integrating Natural History Collections into Undergraduate Education: Creating the Resources and Growing the Community
Monfils, Anna K., Ellwood, Elizabeth, Linton, Debra L., Phillips, Molly, Cook, Joseph, Kerski, Joseph, Barbaro, Tracy, Donovan, Sam
In 2010, the United States National Science Foundation funded a research coordination network (RCN), Advancing Integration of Museums into Undergraduate Education: AIM-UP! (AIMUP.unm.edu). That project has produced a thriving national network of undergraduate educators, curators, collection managers, database managers, and scientists, that is identifying and developing novel ways to use natural history collections (e.g. herbarium specimens) in undergraduate education. To extend this work and broaden the visibility and utility of AIM-UP resources we have launched a collaborative effort among AIM-UP! participants, that extends our project to the Integrated Digitized Biocollections Education and Outreach working group (iDigBio.org), the Esri EdCommunity (edcommunity.esri.com), Kurator developers (wiki.datakurator.net/web/Kurator), and the Quantitative Undergraduate Biology Education and Synthesis community (QUBEShub.org). We report on a plant/pollinator co-evolution collaborative educa …show moretional module under development and a vetted workflow for producing, evaluating, and assessing additional educational modules based in the extensive museum and herbarium databases now available on-line. We will introduce other emerging opportunities to build the AIM-UP! collaborative network and expand existing modules through a QUBES sponsored Faculty Mentoring Network (qubeshub.org/community/fmn). We also provide details on a pilot "train the teacher" workshop that will prepare and enable faculty to use and incorporate specimen-based data (and associated tools) into the introductory undergraduate biology curriculum and upper-level botany courses.