Susan Singer


Carleton College

Susan Rundell Singer, Laurence McKinley Gould Professor, in the Biology and Cognitive Science Departments at Carleton, pursues a career that integrates science and education. In addition to a PhD in biology from Rensselaer, she completed a teacher certification program in New York State. A developmental biologist who studies flowering in legumes and also does research on learning in genomics, Susan is a AAAS fellow and received both the American Society of Plant Biology teaching award and Botanical Society of America Charles Bessey teaching award. She directed Carleton’s Perlman Center for Learning and Teaching, was an NSF program officer in Biology, and is a co-author of the Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology report and an introductory biology text. She serves on numerous boards, including the NSF EHR advisory committee, Biological Sciences Curriculum Study Board, and the Botanical Society board of directors; is a member-at-large for the AAAS Education Section; participates in the Minnesota Next Generation Science Standards team; and was a member of the National Academies’ Board on Science Education. She has participated in six National Academies studies, including chairing the committees that authored America’s Lab Report, Promising Practices in STEM Undergraduate Education and Discipline-based Education Research: Understanding and Improving Learning in Undergraduate Science and Engineering

Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects


Reconstructing the Evolution of Cauliflower and Broccoli part of Teaching Genomics at Small Colleges:Genomics Instructional Units Minicollection
This laboratory exercise allows students to make connections between plant morphology and the genetic differences affecting plant development. Students look for gene and protein sequence differences that explain differences in morphology between Brassica oleracea subspecies, using the Student Interface to the Biology Workbench. Note: The Student Interface to Biology Workbench site is no longer reliably available. Instead you'll need to use Biology Workbench and adjust the instructions accordingly.


Plant Biology part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Courses
This is an interdisciplinary course that introduces students to the basic concepts of plant biology in the context of sustainable food and agriculture systems. The course is taught in an interactive format with problem solving, a range of field trips, and numerous writing assignments. The course culminates with a paper that addresses a plant based problem from multiple perspectives, integrating science, environmental challenges, economics, and ethics.


Feeding the World - Teaching Sustainability in a Plant Biology Course part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Essays
Susan Singer, Biology, Carleton College Plant Biology at Carleton is designed to introduce students to the basic concepts of plant anatomy, morphology, evolution, biochemistry, physiology, and development in the ...

Other Contribution

Exploring the Chamaecrista Gene Space part of Teaching Genomics at Small Colleges:Genomics Instructional Units Minicollection
Whole transcriptome sequencing can provide undergraduates with large data sets forming a foundation for authentic research experiences in the context of a teaching lab. This laboratory experience integrates in silico and wet labs to scaffold student research experiences connected to the biology of the prairie plant Chamaecrista. Students frame questions based on reading selected literature, address the questions using transcriptome analysis scaffolded with a web-based 'Genomics Explorer,' then design and conduct experiments using PCR to address questions arising from the in silico analysis, and prepare final papers and presentations.

Events and Communities

State Your Case! Workshop Aug 09 Participants: Leader

Teaching Genomics at Small Colleges Workshop 2009 Participants: Leader

InTeGrate Sustainability Courses Workshop July 2012

CE Problem Solving Journal Club 2012