2019 Workshops

WORKSHOPS

For information on sessions, please click on the links below.

Keynote Speakers

Short Presentations

Hands-on Workshops

Field Trips

Networking Sessions

Education Share Fair Roundtables

Information for presenters

This session format is designed to give participants hands-on experience to implement a particular technique or activity or develop innovative approaches to curriculum design. There are 9 Hands-on Workshops on Friday and Saturday to choose from.

 

Curricular Topics

  Evolution in Action   Ecology and Earth Systems Dynamics
   Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services   Structure and Function
  Human Dimension

 

Friday Workshops

Room:  Century A  Birch Dogwood Private Dining Room
1:30 PM – 3:00 PM What’s in an ankle? Exploring whale evolution

Presenter: Jeanette Pirlo

Introducing Community Ecology and Data Skills with the Bean Beetle Microbiome Project

Presenters: Christopher Beck, Lawrence S. Blumer

Investigating Ecological Principles using Digitized Natural History Collections Data

Presenters: Debra Linton, Anna Monfils, Molly Phillips

Serenity now!  Keep calm and do science with real data in the classroom

Presenters: Drew Lamar, Kristin Jenkins, Nicole Chodkowski

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM Video Mini-Case Studies: An Effective Tool For Engaging Students Across Scale, Space, And Time

Presenter: J. Phil Gibson

The ESA’s Four Dimensional Framework for Ecology Education (4DEE): Opportunities and Challenges

Presenters: Alan Berkowitz, Jennifer Doherty

 

 

Saturday Workshops

Room: Century A Birch Cedar Live Oak
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM Chewing on Change: Using 3D printed fossil horse teeth to teach evolutionary concepts

Presenters: Sean Morgan, Jeanette Pirlo

Exploring Biodiversity in 2 different Ecosystems with Natural History Collections Data

Presenters: Molly Phillips, Adania Flemming

Biodiversity of freshwater springs using DNA: the future of biodiversity assessment

Presenter: Andrew Martin

 

Caturday Microbiomes – Thinking Outside the Litter Box With Danny and Lil Bub

Presenter: Sandra Porter

 

 


FRIDAY WORKSHOPS

What’s in an ankle? Exploring whale evolution  

Authors: Jeanette Pirlo, University of Florida

Abstract: We demonstrate how whales evolved from land-based mammals through the use of 3D scans of whale astragali. We will also examine which animals are most closely related to whales, based on the shape of their ankle bone, with an NGSS-aligned lesson.

Description: Natural history collections harbor a treasure trove of specimens that are not often available to the public, much less to classrooms.  With the advent of digitized collections, millions of specimens have become available, including one-of-a-kind, delicate, and priceless fossils.  Fossils have been used by paleontologists and biologists alike to understand the evolution of species from their common ancestors to their closest relatives. Paleontology offers unique possibilities for STEM learning including a chance for students to work with authentic specimens, practice skills that span disciplines (biology, geology, and technology), and investigate a variety of complex concepts and ideas, like evolution and climate change. During this session, we will demonstrate how both students and teachers can access and download 3D scans of extinct whale ankle bones (astragali) for free from the University of Michigan’s website (https://umorf.ummp.lsa.umich.edu/wp/vertebrate-2/class-mammalia/). We will then walk participants through example activities that use the fossil prints to investigate the evolutionary relationship between modern whales, their land-based ancestors, and their closest modern relatives (hint: not whales!).  This lesson has been aligned with Next Generation Science Standards and was developed in collaboration with paleontologists and science educators.  Copies of materials from the workshop, along with links to free resources will be available for participants.


Introducing Community Ecology and Data Skills with the Bean Beetle Microbiome Project 

Authors: Christopher Beck, Emory University; Lawrence S. Blumer, Morehouse College

Abstract: The Bean Beetle Microbiome Project is a biological and education project based on a CURE using bean beetles Callosobruchus maculatus. Participants will learn about opportunities to participate in our project and will evaluate sample data on insect microbiome community diversity.

Description: The purpose of this workshop is to introduce participants to the Bean Beetle Microbiome Project, an NSF-supported project that will host a series of faculty development workshops for the next four years.  Participants will learn about a course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) that they could implement as a half or full-semester laboratory activity.  In addition, they will be shown how to access microbiome diversity data from the project.  During the workshop, participants will access and analyze some of these data.  Through this activity, participants will gain experience in working with large datasets and in basic analysis of microbiome community data.  No prior experience with insects, microbes, or community analysis is necessary.  Information about bean beetles and this project may be found at: www.beanbeetles.org.


Investigating Ecological Principles using Digitized Natural History Collections Data

Authors: Debra Linton, Central Michigan University; Anna Monfils, Central Michigan University; Molly Phillips, University of Florida  and iDigBio

Abstract: In this hands-on workshop you’ll explore classroom activities, developed by the Biodiversity Literacy in Undergraduate Education (BLUE) RCN-UBE, in which students investigate topics in ecology, evolution, and organismal biology using data from digitized natural history collections.

Description: In this workshop we will introduce classroom activities, developed by Biodiversity Literacy in Undergraduate Education (BLUE), in which students use biodiversity data to investigate major ecological principles. BLUE’ s goals are to bring together communities of biodiversity, data science, and education specialists to identify core undergraduate biodiversity data competencies and standards and develop effective strategies for sustained integration of biodiversity and data literacy education into the undergraduate biology curriculum. BLUE participants have brought some of these strategies into practice by developing example curriculum materials.


Serenity now!  Keep calm and do science with real data in the classroom

Authors: Drew LaMar, College of William and Mary

Abstract: We will demonstrate the free web application currently under development on QUBES called Serenity that brings data science into the classroom.  Being designed for education, Serenity puts real data into student’s hands to do science.

Description: Data science is an emerging field that will transform how biological research is done, and impact how we teach biology.  At this early stage, there are few resources and guidelines for teaching and infusing data science skills across biology (e.g. in bioinformatics, ecology, epidemiology, and cell biology).

What is data science?  A recent report by the National Academies entitled Envisioning the Data Science Discipline discusses the development of data acumen, consisting of multi-dimensional skills and concepts, including quantitative reasoning, knowledge of and proficiency in the data life cycle, social concepts including ethics and reproducibility, and domain specific knowledge, which can vary wildly even within Biology.

Serenity is a free open-source web application being developed for educational purposes, designed around supporting faculty in building data acumen in their students.  We will do a hands-on demonstration of a sample teaching module developed for Serenity and another application called Radiant, analyzing real-world, messy biological data. Serenity is being designed with the focus on the data first to help students through the full data life cycle: from direct data import from biological data repositories like NEON; to data exploration with interactive visualizations; to communication and reporting of results through interactive documents.

After demonstrating Serenity and Radiant, we will invite attendees to choose a dataset of interest, explore the dataset through data visualization and analysis, and create a simple report of their findings.

Learner Outcomes:  Participants will begin to develop data acumen, which includes concepts such as:

– Quantitative pillars: Mathematical, computational, and statistical thinking

– Data life cycle: Data import, management, curation, and analysis

– Social concepts: Communication, reporting, reproducibility, and ethics

 

Participants will also learn how to use Serenity and Radiant to

– work with real data throughout the data life cycle,

– answer scientific questions using real data,

– develop teaching modules for your classroom.


Friday 5:00 – 6:00 PM

The ESA’s Four Dimensional Framework for Ecology Education (4DEE): Opportunities and Challenges

Authors: Alan Berkowitz, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies; Jennifer Doherty, University of Washington

Abstract: ESA’s newly adopted Four Dimensional Framework for Ecology Education (4DEE) calls for integrating traditional ecology topics, human/environment interactions, cross-cutting ways of thinking and ecological science practices in our teaching. How can we bring 4DEE to life in courses and programs?

Description: The ESA’s Four Dimensional Framework for Ecology Education (4DEE) was recently adopted by the ESA Governing Board to provide leadership and encourage innovation in ecology education. The Framework calls for integrating 1) traditional ecology topics (e.g., populations, communities, ecosystems), 2) human-environment interactions, 3) cross-cutting themes or ways of thinking, and 4) ecological science practices in our teaching. There are many challenging in achieving the vision of 4DEE in lessons, courses and degree programs and ESA looks forward to fomenting, supporting and learning from a community effort to address these challenges. This workshop will engage participants in learning about the 4DEE Framework and examples of how it is being brought to life in courses and other programs. Each participant will consider a short-term enhancement they can make in their own teaching to integrate more dimensions into a lesson or course they currently teach. The group also will consider longer-term challenges including how to assess 4DEE learning and ways we might use 4DEE improve how we advise ecology students and craft ecology degree programs.


Video Mini-Case Studies: An Effective Tool For Engaging Students Across Scale, Space, And Time

Authors: J. Phil Gibson, HHMI BioInteractive & the University of Oklahoma

Abstract: Video mini-case studies provide a platform to explore specific topics without the time commitment of longer case formats. Participants will experience a video mini-case and then work on developing their own video mini-case using HHMI videos.

Description: The objective for this workshop is to demonstrate how short videos can be used to develop mini-case studies that use minimal text and figures to explore a topic but still provide the benefits of case study teaching without the commitment of an entire class period. Video resources assist this by providing background information in an engaging, information-rich format. Their short structure makes them useful as a mechanism to use case study approaches via brief lecture supplements in classes where curricular structure is more constrained, and faculty may not have the freedom to make the curricular modifications necessary to accommodate longer case studies.

 


SATURDAY WORKSHOPS

Chewing on Change: Using 3D printed fossil horse teeth to teach evolutionary concepts 

Authors: Sean Moran, University of Florida; Jeanette Pirlo, University of Florida

Abstract: Participants explore the 55 million year evolution of horses by measuring 3D prints of fossil teeth and observing dental shape changes that are preserved in the North American fossil record.

Description: For over a century, paleontologists have pointed to the fossil record of the family Equidae (horses and their kin) as an exceptional example of macroevolution. We bring this model of evolution into the classroom with 3D printed teeth (files available at https://www.morphosource.org/Detail/ProjectDetail/Show/project_id/144) from fifteen species of fossil horse spanning the 55 million year history in North America. Participants will use calipers to measure changes in shape and size of horse teeth through time and graph these differences against shifting environments during the Cenozoic Era. The objective is for students to understand the broad pattern of horse dental evolution and recognize how this pattern is shaped by available food resources. After investigating equid macroevolution, we turn our focus toward intraspecific variation, and thus the underlying mechanism of the pattern, by looking at photographs of teeth from a single 18 million year old fossil site. Students again measure tooth size, but also record variation in several additional dental characters. The goal here is to observe the variation present within a given species and to understand why variation must be present for natural selection to occur. Lastly, we will discuss potential extensions for this curriculum by using other types of data available for horse evolution.

 

Materials for this curriculum can be found at https://www.cpet.ufl.edu/resources/curricula/created-by-fellows/evolution/#ChewingonChange.


Exploring Biodiversity in 2 different Ecosystems with Natural History Collections Data 

Authors: Molly Phillips, Adania Flemming, Jeanette Pirlo, Randy Singer – Florida Museum of Natural History

Abstract: During this hands-on workshop we will demonstrate how to access free online biodiversity data mobilized from natural history collections and walk participants through two example NGSS-aligned lessons that allow students to actively investigate ecological questions with real data.

Description:

Natural history collections data are used by scientists to understand the ecological, biological, spatial, and evolutionary relationships among and between species from the beginning of Earth’s history to today. Natural history collections also offer amazing possibilities for STEM learning including a chance for students to work with authentic data sets, practice skills that span disciplines (math, biology, and computer science), and investigate a variety of complex concepts and ideas. During this session we will demonstrate how both students and teachers can access specimen data online for free using the iDigBio Portal (https://www.idigbio.org/). We will then walk participants through example activities that use specimen data to investigate the ecological relationships and spatial patterns in southeastern Longleaf Pine ecosystems, and explore the biodiversity and natural history of deep sea organisms by supplementing specimen data with engaging videos with the livestreaming program provided by NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer. These lessons have been aligned with Next Generation Science Standards and were developed in collaboration with biodiversity researchers and science educators. Copies of all the materials from the workshop along with links to many more free collections-based resources will be available for participants.


Biodiversity of freshwater springs using DNA: the future of biodiversity assessment 

Authors: Andrew Martin, University of Colorado

Abstract: This workshop focuses on high-resolution and repeatable estimation of biodiversity of springs using data generated from next-gem sequencing. Participants are guided through the manipulation, visualization, and analysis of a new generation of biodiversity data using the computer program R as an example of how to empower students to use big data for tackling big questions in an age of accelerating challenges for maintaining biodiversity. (Participants of this workshop are encouraged to install R Studio on their computers.)

Description: Purpose: gain the ability and confidence with the manipulation, visualization, and analysis of species presence-absence data across multiple habitats for estimating alpha and beta diversity

Learning objectives: we follow the 3D-LAP approach (Laverty et al. PLOS One 2016). The key disciplinary content goal is the abundance and diversity of species varies across habitats as a consequence of biotic and abiotic factors. The key scientific practices are analyzing and interpreting data and using mathematics and computational thinking. The key cross-cutting concepts include patterns and scale.

The approach will involve providing all workshop attendees with a data set of the counts of the number of times a particular species (OTU) was detected in a spring based on DNA sequences. The data are typical of data generated from biodiversity DNA data pipelines. The attendees will be walked through how to translate questions about the data and the system into algorithms that manipulate, visualize and analyze the data for the purpose of making claims based on evidence. All participants will need to have access to a laptop computer with the computer program R Studio.

The general strategy will be to describe the system (a series of ground water springs in the Mojave Desert) and to ask attendees to develop hypotheses and questions that can be answered using surveys of the presence or absence of species across a set of springs. Using individual response systems, we will harvest the thinking of attendees and come to consensus on one or more questions/hypotheses to pursue. We will then craft algorithms, first in English, then in R, for  achieving the evidence we need for making claims that answer the questions.


Caturday Microbiomes – Thinking Outside the Litter Box With Danny and Lil Bub 

Authors: Sandra Porter, Digital World Biology LLC and Bio-Link

Abstract: Learn how to investigate and compare the microbiomes from Lil Bub, a YouTube celebrity cat with several genetic abnormalities, and Danny, a normal house cat, using whole genome DNA sequencing data provided by Phase Genomics, Inc.

Description: DNA sequencing gives us an unprecedented ability to learn about the microbes that share our bodies. However, identifying new microorganisms or assigning plasmids to their proper bacterial host remains a challenging problem due to the limitations of DNA sequencing technology.  Hi-C is a new method where DNA is cross-linked prior to sequencing, making it possible to identify linked DNA fragments and assemble complete genomes from individual cells.

The purpose of this workshop is to introduce participants to the cutting edge of microbiome analysis and share a rich data set consisting of assembled genome data from the gut microbiomes of two cats, Lil Bub and Danny.  Lil Bub is a celebrity cat with genetic abnormalities and Danny is a normal house cat.  Phase Genomics performed the DNA sequencing and assembly and has made the data available on their website for public use.

Workshop participants will learn how researchers use microbiome data and identify new species.  They will also learn how to interpret some of the statistical parameters associated with that data and carry out additional analyses.

Each participant will investigate a member of a cat microbiome community by locating it in the NCBI Lifemap, and carry out a blastx search to identify a protein from that microorganism.  Methods for learning more about individual microbes and performing additional experiments comparing the microbiomes from the two cats will be discussed.

Participants are encouraged to bring laptop computers.

Relevant URLs:

http://www.lilbub.com/about

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

http://lifemap-ncbi.univ-lyon1.fr/?tid=239759