Wrap-up Group Discussion

Who is doing what, and when?
What are our next steps?


Biocomplexity curricular resources based on specific topics (e.g. El Nino). A model for case-based modules.


  1. Web site to communicate:
    • How to develop student activities and approaches
    • Introductory steps around a biocomplexity case study
      • Find the links
      • Role playing
      • Concept maps
    • Examples of existing case studies (today El Nino, tomorrow...)
  2. JGE article? (we need publications)


Ghost writer needed
  • Carol will provide the reference list for El Nino
  • Rose will type what we have
  • Julie will turn it into html
  • Robin will make a concept map example


Identify the fundamental elements of biocomplexity for educators.


Conduct a workshop or shourt course on the fundamental elements of biocomplexity.


Workshop run by experts in each needed area who are also audience participants.


Case studies based on funded CHN (coupled human-natural systems) projects—articulate links between human and natural systems.


Personal contact with PIs Publishers and necessary support persons


Dave McGinnis and Biocomplexity PIs

How do we have an influence?

A) Teaching

  • Asking questions
  • Using case studies to phrase questions in biocomplexity
  • Breaking out of traditional departments
  • New ways to include biocomplexity in classes
  • Motivation to break down subject barriers
  • How to incorporate and make us socially responsible

B) Research

  • Incorporation of feedback from stakeholders
  • Expand projects to include new collaborators
  • Funding for integrated studies

C) Academic Life

  • Work to increase interaction between humans and geology
  • Validation
  • Appreciation of "biocomplexity"
  • Collegiality
  • Cross-fertilization between disciplines

What to do to reach a wider audience over a longer term?

Spread the message to...

  • Paleontologists
  • Modelers
  • Pattern emergence physicists
  • Condensed matter theorists
  • Emergence mathematicians
  • Social scientists and geographers
  • Cultural ecologists
  • General ed
  • Non scientists

How to get the message out?

  • Within university—departments, deans, administration
  • Communications written so that non-scientists can understand them
  • Science journalism, such as LDEO
  • Model complexity across the curriculum
  • Broaden thesis resources
  • Informal seminar series
  • Lecturer series
  • Map onto NSES
  • Way of thinking
  • Form partnerships, such as with school boards

Develop a "party line"

  • What is biocomplexity? (3 bullets)
  • How is biocomplexity an improvement over the way we currently look at systems? (3 bullets)

Develop publications

  • Article for the Chronicle of Higher Education
  • No white paper at this time.

Our Message to NSF

  • Funding of integrated research by NSF is much appreciated and needs to keep going.
  • Biocomplexity has the potential to promote a systemic change in education.
  • NSF to facilitate transfer of research to educational materials, from K through grad levels.
  • NSF to fund biocomplexity education in parallel, rather than waiting until research is further along.
  • Would like to see follow-on workshops (e.g. regional focus).