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    Breaking It Down: What Factors Control Microbial Decomposition Rates?
    Demonstrating and modeling changes in ecosystem processes in the laboratory classroom can be logistically difficult and expensive. This complexity often leaves little time for students to generate and test hypotheses. Yet, we must foster student...
    Lesson
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    An Interrupted Case Study on Urban Prairie Restoration
    Engaging students in meaningful discussions can be a challenging task for science instructors, especially in introductory courses. The story-telling approach used in case studies can increase student participation by demonstrating the relevance of...
    LessonPlus
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    Keep It Shrimple: An Adaptable Student-Driven Research Project for the Introductory Biology Laboratory
    A challenge in introductory biology laboratory courses is to provide students with authentic, engaging research opportunities that allow them to take ownership of their experiments. We present a nine-week introductory biology module that allows...
    Lesson
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    A Case Study for Teaching Toxicology: Using Whales as an Indicator for Environmental Health
    One of the challenges of teaching scientific courses is helping students understand research methods, biological models, and data analysis, which can be especially difficult in classes without a laboratory component. Within the field of...
    Lesson
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    Diversifying and Humanizing Scientist Role Models Through Interviews and Constructing Slide Decks on Researchers’ Research and Life Experiences
    To maintain recruitment and retention, biology teachers face the challenge of finding relatable role models for their students. Our ever-increasing scientific knowledge has been facilitated by people from many different backgrounds, identities,...
    Lesson
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    A Classroom Intervention to Reduce Confirmation Bias
    STEM students are often unable to recognize cognitive bias in their own disciplines, and simply describing cognitive bias to students has shown to be insufficient to improve critical thinking. However, habitual metacognitive techniques show...
    Teaching Tools and Strategies
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    A 360˚ View of COVID-19
    In March 2020, institutions underwent a massive transition to distance learning as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With so little time to devise new materials to maximize learning in the new virtual environment, instructors devised a variety of...
    Lesson
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    357

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    Developing Decolonial Consciousness in Biology Students Through Critical Reflection Assignments
    There is a growing call to decolonize curricula in academia, including in scientific disciplines. In the biology classroom, this includes highlighting a diverse array of scientists and illuminating injustice and exploitation carried out by...
    Lesson
    2888

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    428

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    Moths and Frogs and E. coli, Oh My!: Agent-based Modeling of Evolutionary Systems
    In evolution classrooms, introducing and reinforcing the idea of genetic drift and random selection can be challenging, as can be reinforcing appropriate mental models of evolution. Agent-based models offer students the opportunity to conduct a...
    Lesson
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    579

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    Follow the Sulfur: Using Yeast Mutants to Study a Metabolic Pathway
    Students are frequently overwhelmed by the complexity of metabolic pathways and they think they have "learned" the pathway when they have memorized the individual reactions.  This laboratory lesson helps students to understand the...
    Lesson
    2483

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    Learning About Protein Localization: A Lesson for Analyzing Figures in a Scientific Publication
    In order to function correctly, proteins must be localized to a specific subcellular location. We have designed this lesson to use data from the primary literature to teach students about the mechanisms cells use to direct proteins to the...
    Lesson
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    How Many Squirrels Are in the Shrubs? A Lesson Plan for Comparing Methods for Population Estimation
    Estimating the population sizes of animals is a key skill for any student interested in ecology, conservation, or management. However, counting animals in natural habitats is difficult, and the many techniques that exist each rely on assumptions...
    Lesson
    2931

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    590

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    Sorry to Eat and Run: A Lesson Plan for Testing Trade-off in Squirrel Behavior Using Giving Up Densities (GUDs)
    All animals need to find and compete for food, shelter, and mates in order to survive and reproduce. They also need to avoid being eaten by predators. Optimal foraging theory provides a framework to examine the trade-offs individuals make while...
    Lesson
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    Squirreling Around for Science: Observing Sciurid Rodents to Investigate Animal Behavior
    Hands-on research experiences are important opportunities for students to learn about the nature of inquiry and gain confidence in solving problems. Here, we present an inquiry-based lesson plan that investigates the foraging behavior of sciurid...
    Lesson
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    Cutthroat trout in Colorado: A case study connecting evolution and conservation
    Evaluation of evidence is a key process skill for the core competencies of applying the process of science and using quantitative reasoning. This case study enables upper-division biology students to practice these skills by applying evolutionary...
    Lesson
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    Nanoparticles and Shrimp: An Interdisciplinary Lab Series in Chemistry and Biology for Undergraduate Engineering Students
    The parallels between engineering and science are vast, as both disciplines apply theory and inquiry to solve complex problems. In order to prepare students for interdisciplinary careers in STEM, we have developed a lab project in which...
    Lesson
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    472

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    Harnessing the Power of the Immune System: Influenza Vaccines
    Because most people have been infected by and/or immunized against influenza, students should know how the immune system responds to the infection and how vaccines protect against disease. Vaccines have played an instrumental role in disease...
    Lesson
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    Mapping a Mutation to its Gene: The "Fly Lab" as a Modern Research Experience
    Although genetics is an invaluable part of the undergraduate biology curriculum, it can be intimidating to students as well as instructors: Students must reduce their reliance on memorization and dive deep into quantitative analysis, and...
    Lesson
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    A Remote Introductory Biology Lab Using Backyard Birdwatching to Teach Data Analysis and Communication
    Asking questions, designing experiments, collecting data and interpreting those data, and communicating the results are some of the most important concepts an undergraduate biology lab can teach students. When the SARS-CoV2 pandemic forced our...
    Lesson
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    Expanding the Reach of Crop Plants for Food Security: A Lesson Integrating Non-Majors Students Into the Discussion of Food Diversity and Human Nutrition
    University general education (GE) courses host students with various academic backgrounds, interests, and perspectives. Engaging students in GE classes with agricultural issues can be challenging because of the diverse interests of students and...