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2020 Education Share Fair Schedule

What is the Education Share Fair?

The Education Share Fair is a unique event at the Life Discovery – Doing Science Education conference!

We know there is a lot of wisdom among our participants!!  The Education Share Fair is designed for educators to share teaching ideas and resources at any stage of development to receive peer feedback.

Participants will have the opportunity to provide peer feedback on fresh, preliminary ideas or discover extensions on successful, developed ones.  Presentations may highlight ideas for lessons and curriculum design, modern technologies, and new applications of traditional techniques; creative tools, or classroom space design! Discussions can cover issues related but not restricted to core concepts, teaching methodology, misconceptions, assessments, or educational extensions.

All presenters are strongly encouraged to incorporate feedback and publish teaching ideas and classroom-ready scientific resources such as photo collections, figures and charts, case studies, simulations, and datasets, etc.  in the LifeDiscoveryEd Digital Library as a record of conference proceedings. Submissions will be peer-reviewed.

There are four or five sessions to choose from each day.

We have developed tips for participants, presenters, and moderators. Please review these tips carefully.

Thursday, October 22, 2020 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM EDT

ES-1 ~ Using the Ribeiroia-amphibian System to Illustrate Key Ecological Themes with a Flipped Lesson.

Rebecca Humphrey, Aquinas College

Audience: Undergraduate Lower Division, Undergraduate Higher Division, Not currently teaching

Abstract: This flipped module uses the case of Ribeiroia infection and frog deformities to emphasize the iterative nature of scientific research and the importance of good experimental design. This resource illustrates overarching ecological themes and encourages student collaboration and integrative thinking.

Description: My resource reorganizes a novel interrupted case study I developed for my upper-level ecology course. Students prepared with only a textbook reading. While in-class work accomplished the learning outcomes it was time-consuming as students frequently needed to refer to the reading. The presented resource will use a flipped format that guides students in more-rigorous preparation before class and allows for more efficient collaboration.
ES~1 Materials

ES-2 ~ Data is the New Science: A Virtual Undergraduate Research Experience Using Biodiversity Data.

Anna Monfils, Central Michigan University
Deb Linton, Central Michigan University

Audience: Undergraduate Lower Division, Undergraduate Higher Division

Abstract: We will be sharing activities where students use digital biodiversity databases to investigate topics in ecology and evolution. We will introduce a module specific to biodiversity data resources and showcase additional resources to explore core biology content.

Description: In this Share Fair we will explore activities that can be used in the virtual and face to face classroom that have been developed by the Biodiversity Literacy in Undergraduate Education (BLUE) RCN-UBE. These activities have students use digital biodiversity databases (GBIF, Arctos, iDigBio, etc.) to investigate topics in ecology, evolution, and organismal biology. These BLUE modules can be used to integrate the scientific process, present biological concepts in a real-life context, and engage students as active participants in science in early foundational courses. The materials are used to teach emerging data literacy competencies and core content, themes, and skills referenced in the Next Generation Science Standards, AAAS Vision and Change document, and the 4DEE Framework. We will introduce a module specific to biodiversity data resources and exploration, and showcase additional resources that build from this module to explore core biology content (e.g. coevolution of plants and pollinators, factors influencing animal size, and correlations between species’ distributions and a range of environmental variables). We will present a sequence of activities that support a course-based research experience designed for implementation at the introductory level. We are eager to hear feedback and engage collaborators as we continue to develop and refine the BLUE Data Network materials.
ES~2 Materials

ES-3 ~ There’re Wild Parrots in California?

Janel Ortiz, California State Polytechnic University-Pomona

Audience: Undergraduate Lower Division

Abstract: Undergraduate non-science majors in an asynchronous life science course will investigate the wild parrot species in California. Using the IUCN website and eBird, students will determine the cause of their introduction, human impacts, and identify local sightings.

Description: In this lesson aimed for undergraduate, non-science majors in an asynchronous biology course titled Life Science, I created an activity to integrate my research interest in wild parrots to build awareness of their existence in our urban spaces and the impacts they face in their native range. This activity will take place during the biodiversity and conservation module of the course where we explore the benefits and threats to biodiversity and methods used in conservation. Students will be asked to view a video I created that shows a large number of parrots coming to roost with prompting questions such as: have they heard or seen these birds before, do they know where they came from, and why are they here? Students will investigate answers to those questions by identifying native and non-native distributions, approximate population sizes, and threats to selected species found in California using the IUCN Red List website. The goal for this section of the activity is for students to build a link between introduced locations, the cause of these introductions (i.e., outcome of the exotic pet trade), and how that is connected to human impact. Students will then map out local parrot sightings using eBird to identify sightings closest to them to promote a personal connection to the species. I will wrap up the activity with another video where I share more information and the answers to the posed questions. Students will build knowledge about the conservation statuses of parrot species and become aware of these endangered, yet introduced birds that are thriving in our human-made environments.
ES~3 Materials

ES-4 ~ Incorporating the Concept of Eco-grief Into Ecology Education

Jessica Pratt, University of California, Irvine

Audience: Undergraduate Lower Division, Undergraduate Higher Division

Abstract: Ecology students who spend significant time studying climate change and other planetary crises often suffer emotional distress and anxiety related to their topics of study. This lesson is aimed at confronting these feelings of “eco-grief” in the ecology classroom and creating space to address the student’s emotional responses to the content we teach.

Description: Ecology students who spend significant time studying climate change and the state of Earth’s ecosystems often suffer emotional distress and anxiety related to their topics of study. This psychological impact has been referred to as eco-grief or eco-anxiety and can negatively impact a student’s mental health. Students may be particularly vulnerable to eco-grief because as a demographic, they tend to suffer high rates of anxiety, helplessness, and frustration with the pace at which our society is currently addressing environmental crises. Given this phenomenon, what should be the role of educators in confronting eco-grief in our ecology classrooms? The purpose of this lesson is to draw student’s attention to the phenomenon of eco-grief, provide an opportunity for them to reflect on their emotional response to what they’re learning, and to discuss with peers’ opportunities for meaningful action to help combat feelings of despair or hopelessness.
ES~4 Materials

ES-5 ~ Live Streaming Field Trips for Student Engagement, Learning, and Reflection

Maura Palacios, University of California, Los Angeles
Miroslava Munguia Ramos, University of California, Los Angeles

Audience: Undergraduate Lower Division

Abstract: The extinction experience and the pandemic reduces the connection of students to nature. A mitigation strategy is live-streaming field trips and we develop them to include Q&A a scientist, natural history, documenting biodiversity, applying field methods, & exploring natural spaces.

Description: Students in urban environments face a crisis, “ the extinction experience,” or the absence of experiences with nature. The current pandemic has exacerbated this crisis further, reducing the connection of our youth and future stewards with nature. In order to mitigate this crisis, we have to consider creative and outside the box ideas to bring our indoor students outdoors, and live streaming field trips can serve this purpose. We tested a pilot of the live stream field trips in a cross-campus course that focuses on human anthropogenic effects on biodiversity with an overall positive response. We tested the technology available for live streaming in the summer and refined our methods. The minimal materials include a MiFi device, a platform like Zoom, a biodiversity app like iNaturalist, and a phone or tablet. This fall we will expand the live streaming of field trips to a field-based course geared towards first-year students to introduce them to the diversity of fields, careers, and backgrounds in life sciences. We aim to integrate our live-streamed field trips with short sessions that include getting to know a scientist, learning about natural history, documenting biodiversity with apps like iNaturalist, application of field technique, and exploring/appreciating natural spaces. We will assess student experience based on nature journals, reflective questions, and comparison to past class responses of class not present in a virtual environment.
ES~5 Materials

Friday, October 23, 2020 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM EDT

ES-6 ~ Overcoming Obstacles faced by College Students in the COVID-era: Teaching Methods for Online Ecology Courses

Sunshine Brosi, Utah State University, Eastern
Becky Williams, Utah State University

Audience: Undergraduate Lower Division, Undergraduate Higher Division

Abstract: Our students are faced with additional personal obstacles enhanced by the current epidemic in our remote ecology courses. Our success strategies include telling our own stories, adding flexibility, frequent contact with students, and a focus on specific relevant course outcomes.

Description: Many of our students face additional obstacles to learning in the age of COVID including limited access to course content, food or rent security, childcare and homeschooling, caregiving of non-nuclear family members, and others. These traumas result in a lack of focus in classes, especially those taught remotely and with abstract topics, which are common in many ecology classrooms. A common saying is we are all in this together however, it is essential to understand that the circumstances of our students are not equal. We will discuss results from an undergraduate survey of ecology students on remote Utah campuses that included questions on challenges to quantify the various stresses our students face. Students in rural Utah may be disproportionately impacted by remote teaching challenges because they often choose online courses because they are place-bound by family, job obligations, or the reservation system for Native Americans. We will highlight methods shown to be successful for reaching these students in distress using the 4DEE framework. These include adding culturally-relevant human-environment connections to our classroom, engaging methods for teaching ecological practices in remote formats, and addressing the added challenges of technology limitations of rural America. Approaches we will discuss include telling our own stories of personal obstacles and those of historical ecologists like E. Lucy Braun, adding flexibility with assignments while providing structure, frequent contact with students, and a focus on specific relevant course outcomes. These approaches offer opportunities to engage distracted students, put challenges in perspective, and allow for opportunities for personal growth and learning to occur.
ES~6 Materials

ES-7 ~ Use of Freely Available Software Tools to Create an Engaging Hybrid Field/Desktop Ecology Lab Exercise

Gerardo Reyes, Lakehead University

Audience: Undergraduate Lower Division, Undergraduate Higher Division

Abstract: Use of freely available software tools to create an engaging hybrid field/desktop ecology lab exercise.

Description: The resource is a framework for a hybrid ecology lab exercise that includes both field and desktop components. While the lab is intended for upper-year undergraduate students, it can be modified to better suit your intended audience. It is a two-part lab that helps students gain competence in using freely available electronic sampling tools designed for use in both field and desktop conditions (pc software: Google Earth Pro, ImageJ; phone app: Canopeo, Canopy Cover Free, GPS tour or Google maps). While field data collection is done individually by each student near their respective homes, data will be compiled and used to complete a collaboratively designed study, interpret results, and critically analyze and discuss ideas and conclusions over subsequent lab sessions (2-4 weeks). The data gathered here will first be used to address local factors influencing the establishment and growth of invasive species (e.g., relative density, proximity to ecotone, % canopy cover, substrate conditions, slope-aspect, mowing frequency, etc.). Successive lab sessions will examine factors potentially influencing the spatial distribution of invasive plant species using Google Earth Pro (e.g., proximity to various landscape features such as roads, forests, fields, agriculture, water features, buffer strips, residential areas, latitude, etc.).
ES~7 Materials

ES-8 ~ Transforming Your Curriculum with Free Resources

Andrea Bierema, Michigan State University

Audience: Grades 9-12, Undergraduate Lower Division, Undergraduate Upper Division

Abstract: Working on transforming your class but not sure where to start? At this talk, participants will learn about a variety of free online resources for teachers and students, including free simulations, active learning lesson plans, case studies, and even textbooks.

Description: While there are several calls for education reform to created student-centered courses that focus on core ideas and scientific practices rather than memorization of facts, it can be difficult to know how to begin. Some may start by incorporating clicker-questions and quick think-pair-share activities, but how can we go from primarily lecturing to creating an environment that is useful, inclusive, and interesting to students, especially those that are not pursuing a degree in science? Luckily, there is a vast array of free resources that offer student-centered lesson plans to replace traditional lectures and content-rich information that replaces expensive textbooks- reducing the cost of taking a course and making content available to all students. I teach an undergraduate environmental science course for non-science majors. Each section has 150 to 200 students, and I teach it using a flipped approach in which students use free resources to learn basic content before class and then work in teams during class to apply those concepts to activities and case studies. There are a variety of resources (e.g., readings, videos, and animations) for students to use to prepare for class, which aids in engaging a diverse audience. I obtained nearly all the in-class activities for free or a small fee (i.e., National Center for Case Study Teaching offers their student worksheets for free but access to all teacher notes cost $25 per year). During this presentation, I will describe a variety of freely available ecological education resources for high school and college- to help reduce costs for students and to offer a variety of student-centered lesson plans-, and the general setup of my courses to explain how I use these resources. I will also provide links to specific lesson plans that incorporate all dimensions of the Four-Dimensional Ecology Education Framework. 
ES~8 Materials

ES-9 ~ Half-Earth Hummingbirds: Guided Inquiry to Explore Biodiversity, Ecology, and Conservation with Hands-on Teamwork

Dennis Lui, E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation

Audience: Grades 9-12, Undergraduate Lower Division

Abstract: The Half-Earth Map is a free interactive map revealing the earth’s species, nature reserves, and human impacts. Engage in team-based, hands-on explorations featuring hummingbirds and other focal species that reveal biodiversity fundamentals in the context of a mapping design challenge inspired by E.O. Wilson’s call to save half of the planet for nature.

Description: The Half-Earth Mapping to Conserve Biodiversity Design Challenge ( is a hands-on team-based activity that’s been successfully field-tested by hundreds of faculty and thousands of students, with positive results on engagement, learning, and effective group work. In this workshop, we present extensions to the hands-on mapping activity that encourages students to explore the online interactive Half-Earth Map ( and other resources, to build their own understanding of key biodiversity, ecology, and conservation concepts. A guided-inquiry focused on Hummingbirds will be explored during the workshop. The Half-Earth Project data team has mapped the distribution of hummingbird species to an unprecedented 1km resolution. Where in the world are hummingbirds found? In the guided-inquiry, students explore the world’s distribution of hummingbird species. They will compare and contrast the distribution of different hummingbird species to explore why different species live in different places and have such different ranges. Is the resilience of a species dependent on how big its range is? Hummingbirds are masters of flight, able to zoom and hover, and like many birds, they are also accomplished long-distance migrators. How does migration affect conservation strategies for a species? A major goal of the hummingbird guided inquiry is to provide an example that students and instructors can use to design their own guided-inquiries to share with the Half-Earth Educator Ambassador peer community ( Participants will get copies of maps to take back to their classrooms as well as printed resources that support the hummingbird guided-inquiry.
ES~9 Materials

Saturday, October 24, 2020 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM EDT

ES-10 ~ Natural History Collections in Ecology CUREs: BCEENET Connects Educators to a Growing Repository of Digital Data

Carly N. Jordan, The George Washington University  
Janice L. Krumm, Widener University
Paula A. Trillo, Gettysburg College
Elissa S. Sorojsrisom, Columbia University

Audience: Undergraduate Lower Division, Undergraduate Upper Division

Abstract: BCEENET brings together undergraduate educators and biological collections professionals to develop course-based undergraduate research experiences using digitized natural history collections data. We will share a current project and invite new members to participate in the network.

Description: Biological Collections in Ecology & Evolution Network (BCEENET) supports the development and implementation of Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) by leveraging the rapidly increasing availability of digitized natural history collections data. Undergraduate research increases student engagement, retention, and long-term success and is essential for building a scientifically literate and engaged workforce. Embedding research experiences in biology and environmental science coursework is especially important for low income, first-generation, and minority undergraduate students unable to dedicate time to research outside their normal course load due to personal and financial barriers. Research utilizing digital data resources such as iDigBio and GBIF only requires access to computers and the internet, broadening the range of institutional types able to offer CURE experiences. Additionally, collections data supports a wide range of potential ecology and evolution research topics aligned with the 4DEE framework (e.g., morphology, biogeography, species diversity, climate change, and conservation), and provides opportunities for collaboration across multiple institutions.

BCEENET brings together undergraduate educators and biological collections professionals to support the development and implementation of CUREs using digitized natural history collections data. In summer 2020, BCEENET members developed four online CUREs that target different course levels, explore a diverse group of organisms, and address key concepts in ecology and evolution. During this session, we will share one of the BCEENET CUREs currently being implemented at multiple institutions. This CURE is focused on the evolution of sexual dimorphism in Pieris rapae, the cabbage white butterfly. Students are using online open-access tools to georeference specimens and digital images to test hypotheses about the evolution of sexually dimorphic traits across geographic ranges and environmental gradients. We will discuss collaborative CURE development and implementation as well as BCEENET’s plans for the future. Please visit to learn more about our network.

ES~10 Materials

ES-11 ~ The Dwellers of a Fantasy Planet

Julia Brodsky, Art of Inquiry Online Science School

Audience: Grades 9 – 12

Abstract: The Dwellers of a Fantasy Planet is a lesson plan, inspired by an exciting new science: astrobiology.  The objective of the lesson is to help students to see the interconnections between the adaptations of living things, planetary conditions, and ecological systems.

Description: The Dwellers of a Fantasy Planet is an inspirational lesson suitable for middle-school through graduate school classrooms, inspired by an exciting new science: astrobiology.  The objective of the lesson is to help students to see the interconnections between the adaptations of living things, planetary conditions and ecological systems. It can be taught in various settings, ranging from traditional classrooms to online programs to after school activities. It was pilot-tested at a progressive private school (Green Acres School in Bethesda, MD) as well as in the online science school Art of Inquiry.

During the lesson, students are guided in creating their own wild creature to analyzing the creature’s abilities and adaptations, in order to reverse-engineer the planetary conditions on the fantasy planet. We will present the step-by-step guide to leading such a lesson, along with the examples from the students. The Fair participants will get suggestions on how to adapt the lesson to different teaching environments. The materials students need for the lesson are paper + colored pencils or crayons, OR electronic whiteboard + stylus or touchscreen (optional). The lesson is developed and taught by Julia Brodsky, former NASA astronaut instructor, science researcher at the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, and founder of the online science school Art of Inquiry.
ES~11 Materials

ES-12 ~ Bog Ecology Research Project

Melissa Haswell, Davenport University

Audience: Undergraduate Lower Division, Undergraduate Higher Division

Abstract: This project uses bog ecology as a model to teach community ecology, natural history, fieldwork, research methodology, and quantitative skills in an introductory biology course.  Students create and monitor a simulated bog and visit a bog to collect data.

Description: The purpose of the semester-long project is to teach basic ecological principles and research methodology in an introductory biology course for majors that emphasizes organisms and populations.  Learning Objectives for this project based on the 4DEE framework include:

1. Identify the variety of ways that organisms interact with both the physical and biological environments.
2. Develop a basic understanding of the field of community ecology.
3. Learn techniques for gathering data in both the laboratory and the field.
4. Learn the techniques of data analysis and visualization.
5. Learn methods for presenting scientific information in the form of a poster.
6. Develop an appreciation of the natural world through direct experience with the local bog community.
7. Develop skills related to team-work and collaboration.
ES~12 Materials

ES-13  ~Development of an Online Summer Youth Program in Climate Change Resiliency

Cynthia Nazario-Leary, University of Florida
Dehlia Albrecht, University of Florida

Audience: Grades 9 – 12

Abstract: Delivery of an online science-based summer youth program in Climate Change Resiliency for 11th and 12th graders. Two sessions differing in content level and delivery were offered. Topics covered resiliency in natural systems, human environments, and social systems.

Description: The impacts from COVID-19 left a gap in summer educational opportunities for high school students as in-person programs were canceled. To address this need, the University of Florida (UF) Center for Precollegiate Education and Training (CPET) offered an online summer youth program in Climate Change Resiliency (CCR) to over fifty 11th and 12th graders in July 2020. This project was funded by the Frances C. & William P. Smallwood Foundation.

Two 2-week sessions were offered. The first session provided students with an introduction to the issues and scientific fields related to CCR. Topics included: CCR in natural systems, human environments, and social systems. The session culminated with a mock city council meeting debating CCR strategies needed to address sea-level rise in Jacksonville, FL. Daily activities included a short lecture and discussion, virtual lab, or field trip, followed by a guest presentation from university faculty.

The second session explored CCR issues in more depth and utilized specific case studies to deliver content. Topics included: conservation in a changing climate, confronting climate change in human environments, and pathways to CCR activism and policies. Daily activities included participant-led group discussions on assigned case studies, followed by guest presentations from university faculty. Participants also designed, executed, and reported on experiments exploring simulated environmental effects on basil seedlings.

Both sessions utilized the online Canvas learning management platform and delivered two hours of synchronous online learning M-F, with an additional 1-2 hours per day of asynchronous remote learning through hands-on activities and lab exercises. All remote learning materials, including science kits, were mailed to each participant prior to the start of the session. Optional online informational and recreational sessions were also offered including: UF admissions and financial aid panel; UF student life panel, climate change organization panel, and virtual game nights and socials.

ES-14 ~ Let’s Be Real: Teaching High School Biology

Mariah Hagadone-Bedir, Morgan High School / Michigan State University

Audience: Grades 9-12

Abstract: Participants will learn strategies to increase student engagement and agency with science content. A biology lesson is given as a sample to demonstrate strategies and provide suggestions for increasing scientific literacy in the general high school student population.

Description: Biology is a required course in many states in the United States for high school graduation. The state standards may be specific or vague, but the standardized state assessment at the end of the course is by far and large unequivocally detailed, in-depth content. However, depending on the geographic location of the school, the student population may mostly pursue higher education or immediately join the workforce. With such a heterogeneous student population and a homogenous high school biology curriculum, there is an enormous divide among students across the country in their motivations and expectations in learning about biology content. This presentation aims to highlight that gap and what can be done about it as science educators and researchers. Specifically, I will discuss strategies to engage students who self-identify as having little interest in pursuing a science-related career and how using current events in different mediums (media) can increase engagement with the content and show relevance to their world. Such strategies have been proven to be effective based on state-reported standardized high school test scores and classroom student reflection surveys. In a PowerPoint presentation, a sample high school biology lesson will be shown that demonstrates this point as well as suggestions for stretching science inclined students to the next level. A handout will be provided with the main points of the presentation and suggestions that aim at increasing student engagement and science competencies for students in high school science classes.
ES~14 Materials