Abstract Detail



Education and Outreach

Kilgore, Jason Scott [1], Jordan, Carly [2], Krumm, Janice [3], Doan, Tiffany [4], Kaiser, Hinrich [5], Kim, Yungkul [6], Linton, Debra [7], Phillips, Molly [8], MONFILS , ANNA K [9], Ellwood, Libby [10].

How many critters can an island hold? Using digitized natural history collections to test real hypotheses about island biogeography.

Quantitative and data literacy skills are vital to the advancement of biological theory as the use of large data sets and quantitative modeling has become common in answering critical questions in ecology. Infusion of quantitative biology skills training into the undergraduate curriculum can produce measurable increases in students’ mathematical reasoning skills. Increased availability of educational modules that teach quantitative and data literacy skills in ecological contexts may encourage faculty to incorporate more of these skills into their courses. To help meet this need, we customized and extended a teaching module on Island Biodiversity, as part of an iDigBio Workshop on Resources for Collections-Based Undergraduate Research. By combining quantitative reasoning and data literacy skills training with the teaching of island biodiversity concepts, this module allows a seamless incorporation of the skills training into the ecological curriculum.
The Island Biodiversity Module is an educational exercise that requires the students to create and test hypotheses about diversity. Students search for and download information on mammals collected on the islands of the Alexander Archipelago of Alaska from the Arctos database, an online repository for natural history collections data. Students evaluate and analyze the downloaded data, testing their original hypotheses about island biodiversity and drawing conclusions from their results. The learning outcomes for this module include applying quantitative skills to biological questions and understanding the applications of natural history collections to biodiversity patterns in biological systems. These learning outcomes are assessed as differences scored on a pre-/post-test. Implementation of this module is ongoing through Spring semester at several institutions. Additional exercises (“extensions”) can easily be added to the module, with ideas discussed at the end of the talk.


Related Links:
Arctos
iDigBio


1 - Washington & Jefferson College, Biology Department, 60 S Lincoln St, Washington, Pennsylvania, 15301, United States
2 - The George Washington University, Department of Biological Sciences, Bell Hall, 2029 G Street NW, Washington, DC, 20052, USA
3 - Widener University, Department of Biology, One University Place, Chester, PA, 19013, USA
4 - New College of Florida, Division of Natural Sciences, 5800 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL, 34243, USA
5 - Victor Valley College, Biology Department, 18422 Bear Valley Road, Victorville, CA, 92395, USA
6 - Bethune-Cookman University, Department of Integrated Environmental Science, 640 Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Blvd, Daytona Beach, FL, 32114, USA
7 - Central Michigan University, Department of Biology, Biosciences 2100, Mt Pleasant, MI, 48859, USA
8 - Florida Museum of Natural History, 3215 Hull Rd, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA
9 - Central Michigan University, Biology, 2401 Biosciences, Mt. Pleasant, MI, 48859, USA
10 - Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, La Brea Tar Pits & Museum, 900 Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90007, USA

Keywords:
species diversity
digital data
analysis
spreadsheets
Arctos
teaching module.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number:
Abstract ID:720
Candidate for Awards:None


Copyright © 2000-2018, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved