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    584

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    Learning the Landscape: An Active and Applied Lesson on Landscape Ecology for General Ecology Courses
    Landscape ecology is an important subtopic of ecology. As a field, it is inherently interdisciplinary and provides opportunities to teach not only content, but transferable ecological and geographical skills. Given the broad spectrum of topics in...

    Courses: EcologyEcology

    Lesson
    2616

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    303

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    Bacteria to Brains in Backyard Coyotes: An Interdisciplinary Pedagogical Case Study
    Our interdisciplinary pedagogical case study explores the differences between rural and urban coyotes at the levels of organismal and community ecology. The focus is on how coyotes’ gut microbiomes could affect their behavior via...
    LessonPlus
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    118

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    The Power of Place: A Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience Studying Urban Ecology, Local Apple Trees and Disease Susceptibility
    Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) offered early in an undergraduate student’s career have the potential to include a greater number and diversity of students than one-on-one mentored research. CUREs that use a...

    Courses: EcologyEcology

    Lesson
    1585

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    91

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    Snail Races: An Inquiry-Based Approach to Learn Invasive Species Ecology
    Inquiry-based lessons allow learning that is hands-on and student-driven, fostering engagement and retention of knowledge in any discipline. Here, we use this learning framework to engage students in exploring the effects of biotic and abiotic...

    Courses: EcologyEcology

    Lesson
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    265

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    Debating Conservation: Developing Critical Thinking Skills in Introductory Biology Classes
    Role-playing activities in the classroom promote students’ critical thinking, research, and communication skills. We present an activity where students debate a current controversy in conservation. In our case study, students debate the...
    Lesson
    5487

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    688

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    Animal Behaviour Case Study Lessons in Communication, Migration, and Parental Care Using the Jigsaw Approach
    Animal behaviour courses integrate concepts across biological disciplines and are particularly well suited for collaborative, student-focused teaching strategies. Case Studies can positively impact students by...
    Lesson
    2555

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    208

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    Integrating Community Ecology Into the Study of Parasites: Exploring the Effect of Host Behavior on Parasite Transmission Rates
    Organismal life cycles are often presented as a set of facts to memorize in undergraduate biology courses. This approach is cognitively demanding for students and fails to convey how central life cycle diversity is in shaping ecological and...
    Lesson
    2331

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    443

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    A Modeling Exercise in Sexual Selection using a Student-Created Bird Species
    Evolution-centered lessons at the undergraduate level can often be jargon-heavy, propagate misconceptions if taught ineffectively, and be uninteresting to students who may not see the relevancy of such concepts. This activity provides a fun and...
    Lesson
    2900

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    429

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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
    3335

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    468

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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
    2949

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    591

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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
    1538

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    295

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    Squirrels in Space: Using Radio Telemetry to Explore the Space Use and Movement of Sciurid Rodents
    Biotelemetry is used by researchers to track the interactions of animals with each other and the environment. While advancing technology has led to the development of numerous biotelemetry tools, radio telemetry remains the most common method for...

    Courses: EcologyEcology

    Lesson
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    962

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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
    2598

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    491

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    Developing Data Literacy Skills and Connecting the Student Experience in the Classroom to the Community Through Biodiversity Projects
    Undergraduate education and long-term science literacy are enhanced by integrating data projects with public datasets and creating analysis summaries. Underutilized public datasets are often generated by community-based or citizen science projects...
    Lesson
    1579

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    445

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    Ain't No Mountain Pine Enough: A Case Study of How Mountain Pine Beetles are Affecting Ecosystem Processes
    This case study engages students in generating hypotheses and predictions, analyzing and interpreting data, critically evaluating contrasting results in science, and thinking about feedbacks between biota and abiotic ecosystem dynamics. To address...

    Courses: EcologyEcology

    Lesson
    2692

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    598

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    Biodiversity Show and Tell: An Accessible Activity to Encourage Students to Explore the Tree of Life
    An appreciation of organismal diversity is a requirement for understanding evolution and ecology, and can serve as a source of amazement and wonder that inspires students to enjoy biology. However, biodiversity can be a challenging subject to...
    Lesson
    2441

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    811

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    Exploring Species Interactions with "Snapshot Serengeti"
    Authentic learning experiences are a valuable way for students to gain an in-depth understanding of the scientific process. However, implementing such experiences in large enrollment courses can be challenging. Here, we present a community ecology...

    Courses: EcologyEcology

    Lesson
    1300

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    408

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    Using Images of Foraging Leaf-Cutter Ants to Teach Linear Regression
    This lesson offers students a realistic, open-inquiry research experience, even when lab or field research is not possible. We first introduce students to leaf-cutter ants and how they forage. Then we provide images and videos of foraging...
    Lesson
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    884

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    Life Is Just a Game: An Active Learning Activity to Teach Life History Evolution
    A novel activity was designed to introduce students to the concepts of natural selection and life history using an active-learning, constructivist format. It consisted of two parts: 1) a brief introduction to the basic mechanism of natural...

    Courses: EcologyEcology EvolutionEvolution

    Lesson
    1556

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    319

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    Chilling in the Cold: Using Thermal Acclimation to Demonstrate Phenotypic Plasticity in Animals
    The lesson plan described here provides students hands-on, scientific experiences that relate to the globally important issue of climate change and its impacts on animals. Students use the scientific method and basic components of experimental...