Abstract Detail

Education and Outreach

Sorojsrisom, Elissa Suphapun [1], Eaton, Deren [2].

shadie Understory: an online education and research resource for students of botany, evolution, and coding.

Plant life cycles are a notoriously difficult topic in introductory botany courses. The terminology is new and confusing, structures are difficult to relate back to forms students are already familiar with, and the ultimate significance of all the variation is obscure. By introducing plant lifecycles in the context of their significance for genome evolution, students can immediately link obscure differences to real-world consequences. To supplement the documentation for our evolutionary simulation python program, shadie (Simulating Haploid-Diploid Evolution), we developed an online resource, Understory, for supporting students and instructors of botany, evolution, and programming. Understory includes textbook-style lessons coupled with high-quality illustrations and diagrams intended to teach plant life cycle concepts, which are freely available to download and use for teaching purposes. Additionally, we have developed lesson plans and tutorials to help instructors use shadie to teach plant life cycles and introductory evolutionary concepts. The similarity between evolutionary simulations and sim-based computer games may even benefit and engage students to learn this challenging topic. Understory provides Jupyter notebook tutorials via Binder, which allows students to dip their toes into Python programming through a web-browser, without the need to set up Python on their own computers.
Finally, we believe there is great potential for shadie to be used by advanced students to develop and implement their own research projects. Understory has guided lesson plans for helping students develop a research question and tutorials for implementing simulations with shadie. The outcome of simulation-based research can be of great value to the scientific community, but are often under-utilized, presenting a great opportunity for early career students. Understory is an open-access resource that welcomes outside contributions, especially from students, and will also serve as a repository for highlighting the outcomes of research projects that utilize evolutionary simulations.

Related Links:
shadie Understory website

1 - Columbia University, Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology, 1200 Amsterdam Ave, Schermerhorn Ext., New York, NY, 10027, USA
2 - Columbia University, Ecology, Evolution, And Environmental Biology, 1200 Amsterdam Ave. , Schermerhorn Ext. Office 1007, New York, NY, 10027, United States

web resource
Plant Evolution
life cycles

Presentation Type: Poster
Number: PEO007
Abstract ID:855
Candidate for Awards:None

Copyright © 2000-2022, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved