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Population & Community Ecology
Cascade Sorte, University of California-Irvine
Students in a Population and Community Ecology class participate in coastal marine research focused on understanding factors determining population sizes and community interactions, particularly in the context of species that appear to be shifting their ranges with climate change. Students participate in all aspects of the research from making observations and collecting data in the field to defining questions, stating hypothesis, designing and completing statistical analysis, and interpreting and presenting results. The outcomes are a research proposal, research paper, and poster presentation. All are intended to be at a level appropriate for use as a writing sample or presentation at undergraduate conferences. Results are incorporated into the ongoing research project led by the course instructor and graduate student teaching assistant.

Soil Ecology Lab
Becky Ball, Arizona State University at the West Campus
Students collect soil samples from places of interest around campus and run a series of basic soil analyses to make conclusions about how soil fertility relates to the biological community and human management.

Review for interdisiplinary science course (stream ecology, watersheds)
Cailin Huyck Orr, Carleton College
This is a large-scale participatory activity used to prompt students to review what they have learned and to think actively and cooperatively about the connections between the systems we have discussed prior to the ...

The More The Merrier in The Math of Population Ecology
Victor Padron, Normandale Community College
This is a teaching module, directed to undergraduate students in applied mathematics, that derives a mathematical model of population ecology describing the role of dispersal in the survival of a population in ...

Analyzing datasets in ecology and evolution to teach the nature and process of science
Rebecca Price, University of Washington-Bothell Campus
This quarter-long project forms the basis of a third-year course for majors and nonmajors at the University of Washington, Bothell called Science Methods and Practice. Students use databases to identify novel research questions, and extract data to test their hypotheses. They frame the question with primary literature, address the questions with inferential statistics, and discuss the results with more primary literature. The product is a scientific paper; each step of the process is scaffolded and evaluated. Given time limitations, we avoid devoting time to data collection; instead, we sharpen students' ability to make sense of a large body of quantitative data, a situation they may rarely have encountered. We treat statistics with a strictly conceptual, pragmatic, and abbreviated approach; i.e., we ask students to know which basic test to choose to assess a linear relationship vs. a difference between two means. We stress the need for a normal distribution in order to use these tests, and how to interpret the results; we leave the rest for stats courses, and we do not teach the mathematics. This approach proves beneficial even to those who have already had a statistics course, because it is often the first time they make decisions about applying statistics to their own research questions. We incorporate peer review and collaborative work throughout the quarter. We form collaborative groups around the research questions they ask, enabling them to share primary literature they find, and preparing them well to review each other's writing. We encourage them to cite each other's work. They write formal peer reviews of each other's papers, and they submit their final paper with a letter-to-the-editor highlighting how their research has addressed previous feedback. A major advantage of this course is that an instructor can easily modify it to suit any area of expertise. Students have worked with data about how a snail's morphology changes in response to its environment (Price, 2012), how students understand genetic drift (Price et al. 2014), maximum body size in the fossil record (Payne et al. 2008), range shifts (Ettinger et al. 2011), and urban crop pollination (Waters and Clifford 2014).

Which Strategy is Best to Ensure the Conservation of Endangered Species?
Susan Musante, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Students learn about endangered species and actions humans have taken to address the issue of endangered species. The Xpeditions lesson has students think about their experiences with zoos, learn about the reasons ...

Seasonal variation in light, mixing depth and primary productivity in temperate northern hemisphere waters
Lauren Sahl, Maine Maritime Academy
In this exercise students work with light, temperature, and phytoplankton biomass proxy (chlorophyll a concentration) data to; Become more skilled in reading and interpreting semi log graphs, temperature profiles, ...

The Algae-in-a-Bottle Experiment: A High-Impact Learning Activity
William Chamberlin, Fullerton College
The Algae-in-a-Bottle Experiment provides an engaging and flexible high-impact teaching tool for helping students to know, understand, and apply a number of concepts related to the biology and ecology of aquatic plants and their environments.

Plankton Lab
Katryn Wiese, City College of San Francisco
Plankton Lab online (developed for remote learning during COVID-19 pandemic); students will explore plankton samples from three different locations in San Francisco Bay, identify organisms, and characterize the ...

Evolution of Whales
Mitchell Colgan, College of Charleston
The students read two articles on the evolution of whales and search the web. The students' writing assignment requires them to outline the evolution of whales using major fossil finds. Students start with ...