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Networking Topics

One of the goals of the Life Discovery – Doing Science Education Conference is to facilitate networking during and beyond the conference. The Life Discovery partner societies are interested in building live and virtual learning communities! Learn more about the Networking discussions at the 2023 conference.

Saturday, March 25th, 10:45 AM in the Grand Ballroom

Participants will be able to join one of the groups below. Each group will be led by a facilitator.  The goal of the networking session is to prioritize key issues related to the topic and to generate some recommendations on action steps. In other words, what does the group see as important for the education community to pay attention to? If time permits, all participants will be able to hear and respond to the ideas generated on the other topics.

We hope this will lead to a more well-rounded set of recommendations and ideas.

After the conference

We will summarize the discussion and post the report online. We hope to take these reflections to online forums following the conference to build collegial support and exchange of ideas and information if there is sufficient interest.

This year’s Networking Session will focus on: 

N1) Adapting to and Teaching Disease Ecology 

  • What disease ecology examples have been most successful for you in the classroom?
  • Are there any classroom tools, such as computer software, that have helped your students learn about disease ecology?
  • Should disease ecology (and related fields, epidemiology, virology, etc.) be required for biology students these days? Discuss why or why not, and/or discuss suggestions given how the world responded to COVID-19.

N2) Fake News, Real Science, or somewhere in between (Science Misinformation)

  • How can we help students address and navigate the many different types of media they encounter?
  • How do you incorporate media into your ecology or environmental science classroom?
  • Scientific literacy is critical for identifying misinformation. What recommendations do you have to foster scientific literacy in your classroom?

N3) Research innovations and careers

  • What are your strategies for encouraging students to think broadly about career options?
  • What career options outside of academia are available for people with degrees in ecology or related fields, and how do you introduce those career options to students?

N4) Climate change education 

  • Climate change may facilitate new disease outbreaks or the range expansion of existing diseases. What are some successful ways you have connected disease ecology and climate change in the classroom?
  • How do we support “climate change” education that focuses less on the temperature and more on the ecosystem’s consequences? Is this a more effective path forward?

N5) Biodiversity Data and Literacy in the classroom

  • How do you prepare students to evaluate and use large, openly available sources of ecologically relevant data? 
  • What are the challenges you face in implementing biodiversity data literacy instruction and how did/can you overcome them? 
  • How can we use biodiversity data as a resource to introduce students in ways of evaluating data, bias, and sources?  
  • What recommendations do you have for preparing students for ecological data literacy needed for the 21st-century job market?