Online Content for Experiential Learning of Tropical Systems


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Snapshot Serengeti Online Lab

Author(s): Charles Willis1, Jeffrey A Klemens2, Rahul Agrawal3, Sadie Hebert1, Meredith Palmer4, Annika Moe1, Deena Wassenberg1, Katherine Barry1, Craig Packer1

1. University of Minnesota 2. Thomas Jefferson University 3. University of Michigan 4. Princeton University

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Snapshot Serengeti is a fully online inquiry-based lab that uses real camera-trap data from Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to explore themes of tropical ecology and animal behavior.


Over the course of 4-5 weekly lab sessions, students will be guided through the scientific process from start to finish. Students will learn about the tropical savanna biome, camera trap field research and the data it generates, how to formulate questions and hypotheses related to the data available to them, how to visualize and interpret data, and how to summarize and communicate their findings in a research report or presentation.  Students will use online, interactive data visualization tools to explore the Snapshot Serengeti dataset and test their original hypotheses related to the Serengeti ecosystem.

The lab can be modified to provide an authentic hypothesis testing and data analysis experience for both non-major and major biology students, as well as, high-school biology students.

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