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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...
linear regression experimental design Plant-insect interactions Symbiosis Foraging behavior
Lesson
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77

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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

Evolution life history trade-offs diversity Natural Selection
Lesson
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59

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What is Speciation, How Does It Occur, and Why Is It Important for Conservation?
Speciation provides a framework for classifying biodiversity on Earth and is a central concept in evolutionary biology. To help undergraduate students learn about speciation, we designed a student-centered lesson that uses active-learning...
Evolution conservation Genetic Drift Speciation Natural Selection Biological species concept gene flow Morphological species concept Phylogenetic species concept
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85

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49

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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...
scientific method climate change phenotypic plasticity fruit flies accclimation cold tolerance think-pair-share
Lesson
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91

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Assessing Urban Biodiversity With the eBird Citizen Science Project: A Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) Module
The eBird citizen science module takes advantage of technology tools and online resources developed by the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology (http://ebird.org) to achieve several learning objectives embedded in a semester-long upper-level biology...
data citizen science community Biodiversity Species hypothesis habitat
Lesson
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48

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Data, Distributions, and Hypotheses: Exploring Diversity and Disturbance in the Tallgrass Prairie
Proper hypothesis generation, data handling, graphing, and communication are essential skills that undergraduate majors in biology are expected to master. However, students rarely get hands-on practice that helps them to effectively develop these...
Quantitative reasoning Restoration Ecology Science process skills tall grass prairie ecosystem
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17

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Tying it All Together: An Activity to Help Students Connect Course Experiences to Posted Learning Outcomes
Instructors of undergraduate courses in Biology and other Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines face an ongoing challenge to foster higher-order thinking and learning skills while also developing a sound conceptual...
metacognition reflection goals Outcomes
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35

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Using Seafood Traceability to Teach the Complexities of Natural Resource Management and Sustainability
This lesson plan addresses the challenge of conveying to students the globalized nature and complexity of natural resource management. Specifically, it uses seafood traceability, or the ability to track seafood as it moves through the global...

Courses: EcologyEcology

sustainability fisheries aquaculture Anthropogenic Impacts Natural Resource Management
Essay
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11

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Structuring Courses for Equity
As instructors, we continually look for new ways to create equitable learning environments and support learning for all students in our courses. Recently, we have explored ways that we can increase structure to better support students. We have...
Equity metacognition inclusivity course structure
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Teaching Biodiversity with Museum Specimens in an Inquiry-Based Lab
In response to the growth of biology datasets and broad efforts to digitize data, an increasingly important skill for science students is the management and analysis of large datasets. We designed an inquiry-based lab module to introduce students...
data analysis natural history phylogeny Biodiversity mammals Allen's Rule Bergmann's Rule ecogeography museum research
Science Behind the Lesson
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Science Behind the Lesson: It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's Biomechanics!
Active flight is a specialized mode of movement found in insects, birds, and mammals. The anatomy, morphology, physiology, and ecology of flying taxa has changed over evolutionary time. Researchers have proposed several hypotheses about the...
Evolution ecology bat physiology Anatomy biomechanics bird Flight insect
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It's a bird! It's a plane! It's biomechanics!
Biomechanics is a discipline that draws from physics and engineering principles to understand the movement and structure of living organisms. It is highly interdisciplinary in nature and can be incorporated into general biology and ecology...
Evolution ecology bat physiology Anatomy bird Flight forces insect
Teaching Tools and Strategies
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Integrating Primary Literature in a Lecture Course Using a Modified Version of the C.R.E.A.T.E. Approach
Reforms in undergraduate science education place an increasing emphasis on teaching the skills of practicing scientists, such as reading and interpreting the primary research literature. Many approaches have been proposed to introduce students to...

Courses: EcologyEcology

primary literature Discussion Modified Jigsaw Peer-based Learning
Lesson
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Training future faculty in 30 minutes a week: A modular framework to provide just-in-time professional development to graduate teaching assistants
Despite increasing recognition of the need to train the teaching assistants (TAs) teaching the majority of STEM lab sections, very few programs report offering sustained teaching professional development opportunities. Here we present a year-long,...
professional development TA Training Teaching Assistants
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Using Structured Decision Making to Explore Complex Environmental Issues
Environmental issues are inherently complex, often requiring multiple interested parties to come together before agreeing on a solution. Structured decision making is a tool used by federal and state management agencies to find solutions that...

Courses: EcologyEcology

interdisciplinary socio-ecological systems science policy stakeholder structured decision making