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Adaptation of Plants in the Human-Altered Environment (PHAE) for a non-lab course on biodiversity conservation

Author(s): Emily Nodine

Rollins College

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PHAE is a project to compare effects of landscape alteration intensities on plant biomass and diversity. This adaptation modifies the (adapted) modules for a non-lab course on conservation, conducted during a mix of in-person and remote students


These modules were developed for an upper level Environmental Studies core course, Conservation of Biodiversity, toward the goal of engaging students in hands-on research whether in-person or remote. Students employ a mix of field and online research techniques to measure the abundance, biomass, diversity, and ecosystem services provided by plants as a function of the intensity of landscape alteration. The project was divided into a series of homework assignments for a non-lab course.

Included here are the overarching assignment guidelines, background worksheet, modules 1-8, and teaching notes on its inaugural implementation in Spring 2021.


These modules were adapted from an existing adaptation for 100% remote students and include much of that content that includes very detailed instructions valuable to both remote and in-person students. Reflection questions are skewed more to a conservation focus.

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