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Education Report for July/August 2010

The AIBS Education Office provides analysis and communication for the AIBS Board, Headquarters Office, and Education Committee on issues of import to the AIBS membership and the larger scientific community. Reports are broadly disseminated by email every few months to AIBS membership leaders and contacts. Special reports are sent more frequently as needed. We have archived these reports here for your information and attention. Read about each report's contents below, then click to read the complete text.

New in ActionBioscience.org

  • Urban Coyotes Are coyotes moving into cities, or are we moving into their territory? John A. Shivik, Utah State University, examines why these remarkably adaptable animals are increasingly seen where people live, and he describes the difficulties of managing them in urban landscapes. www.actionbioscience.org/biodiversity/shivik.html

  • Light Pollution and Ecosystems By disrupting natural patterns of darkness, artificial light acts as a pollutant, with significant impacts to ecosystems. Travis Longcore, University of Southern California, and Catherine Rich, the Urban Wildlands Group, illustrate how light pollution affects wildlife. www.actionbioscience.org/environment/longcore_rich.html

  • Extreme Environments: Is There Life in Sea Ice? Sea ice in the Arctic region provides a habitat for organisms even in the cold of winter. Jody Deming, University of Washington, Seattle, says that studies of sea-ice ecosystems may shed light on how organisms evolve and survive in extreme conditions on Earth and beyond our planet. www.actionbioscience.org/biodiversity/deming.html

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Science posters your classroom can't live without. Pre-order now!

UCMP and AIBS have teamed up to bring you the awesome artwork from the Understanding Science Web site to your classroom walls this school year. Three new posters are being added to the collection to help communicate key principles of the nature of science in a fun and engaging way. View the designs below and pre-order your copies!! www.aibs.org/public-programs/sciencepostersyourclassroomcantlivewithout.html

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Help Rate and Comment on Resources in BEN

The BEN Collaborative recently launched a user comment and five-star rating system. The new feature is intended to enhance the user’s experience by gaining insights into how others rate and/or use resources. The BEN Collaborative needs your help to develop user responses; in particular, it is looking for comments that describe courses in which the resource can be used, experiences in using the resource, and any modifications that were made. Also be sure to check out two new features hosted on the BEN homepage: the BEN Collaborator’s box, a slideshow highlighting the types of resources available from each collaborator, and the Biological Sciences Education User Groups, a list of groups making advances in the education biology community. Go to BEN at http://biosciednet.org to see these new features.

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New in BioScience: "Update: Have BIO2010 Goals Been Achieved?"

It has been seven years since the publication BIO2010: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists was published, and in the latest edition of BioScience, Beth Baker reports on the progress made since that date. The complete article, “Update: Have BIO2010 Goals Been Achieved?,” is freely accessible through University of California Press Journals on Caliber (http://caliber.ucpress.net/doi/full/10.1525/bio.2010.60.7.4) or on the AIBS website (www.aibs.org/eye-on-education/eyeoneducation201007.html). Here is an excerpt:

Leaders in biology education are celebrating the progress made since the publication of BIO2010: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists. The landmark report, published in 2003 by the National Research Council (NRC), called on institutions of higher education to revamp both the curricula and teaching methods in the life sciences to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

BIO2010 urged much deeper connections between the biological sciences and mathematics, the physical sciences, and computer science. In addition, the report called on faculty to move out of the lecture hall and into the field and lab to help develop hands-on learning and higher-order thinking in their students.

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The Encyclopedia of Life Releases New Tools

The Encyclopedia of Life (EOL, www.eol.org) is a global collaboration between scientists and the general public to make authoritative information about all 1.9 million named species freely accessible online. The EOL Learning + Education Group, based at Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology, has developed an online collaborative tool called a LifeDesk to facilitate the writing of species accounts by undergraduate biology students. The opportunity to research and publish these accounts to the Encyclopedia of Life is a challenge that many students find highly motivating. For more information, visit www.edulifedesks.org. While still under development, a new Field Guide tool provides a way to organize species information based on a location. Based on the same reliable content found on EOL species pages, Field Guides will enable the creation of customized content to include just the information specific to your educational needs. To learn more and share your feedback during the development phase, visit: http://education.eol.org/ideas/tools/fieldguide

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Biology Laboratory Teaching Materials Available through ABLE

The Association for Biology Laboratory Education (ABLE, www.ableweb.org) completed its 32nd annual conference at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in late June. Members presented 18 major workshops, 27 mini workshops, and 24 posters to the almost 200 attendees. Proceedings of the 2009 conference, Tested Studies for Laboratory Teaching, consisting of peer-reviewed class-tested laboratory protocols and ready-to-use student handouts, was distributed to members at the Dalhousie meeting on CD-ROM and will soon be available to members on-line. The proceedings of the 2007 conference became available to the public after the Dalhousie meeting (www.ableweb.org/proceedings). Only members have access to the latest two volumes and conference discounts, as well as other privileges. To learn about joining ABLE, visit www.ableweb.org/membership/information.htm. ABLE’s next annual conference will take place at New Mexico State University, June 14-17, 2011.

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NABT News and Opportunities

  • NABT Professional Development Conference: Designed to give educators the tools they need to navigate the biology and life science education landscape, the NABT Professional Development Conference offers four days of renowned speakers, hands-on workshops, poster sessions, informative presentations, and special events. The conference features special sessions from AIBS, APS, BSCS, HAPS, HHMI, NESCent, and others. This year, highlighted hands-on workshops let educators “practice what they teach.” Take advantage of special advance registration rates at www.NABT2010.org.

  • BioClub Applications: NABT is currently accepting applications for BioClub chapters for the 2010-2011 academic year. The NABT BioClub provides opportunities for students to share and promote their interest in the biological sciences, and chapters are forming at high schools and community colleges around the Unites States and Canada. To learn more, visit www.nabt.org/websites/institution/index.php?p=19.

  • Share Information through the Outreach Coordinators and Informal Educators Section: NABT’s Outreach Coordinators and Informal Educators Section is its newest. Two events will take place during the 2010 NABT meeting for this community in November: (1) a professional development session and business meeting, and (2) a poster session for informal education programs to reach NABT conference attendees. For complete details about both events, visit www.nabt.org/websites/institution/index.php?p=534.

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Teaching Resources and Education News from the American Society of Plant Biologists

The American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) and the ASPB Education Foundation are pleased to announce the release of 12 inquiry-based activities (www.aspb.org/education/12Labs/) to accompany the society’s 12 principles of plant biology (www.aspb.org/education/foundation/principles.cfm). Developed by ASPB members Jeffrey Coker, Jane Ellis, and Mary Williams, these activities explore each principle through concept summaries relevant to middle and high school students, and each includes a teacher’s guides linking the activities to the National Science Education Standards. Ellis, a professor of biology at Presbyterian College in South Carolina and a former high school biology and chemistry teacher, was also honored with the society’s 2010 Excellence in Education Award (http://aspb.org/awards/#teaching). Adam Fagen is ASPB’s new public affairs director and will guide the society’s public affairs, education, outreach, and communications activities. Fagen was previously a senior program officer with the Board on Life Sciences at the National Academies of Science, where he directed National Research Council studies on a wide range of topics including science education and training. For more information about ASPB’s education activities, visit www.aspb.org/education, or contact Katie Engen (katie@aspb.org) or Adam Fagen (afagen@aspb.org).

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New from the Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education

The May 2010 issue of Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education (JMBE, volume 11, issue 1) is the first issue to be published since the journal’s extensive year-long expansion efforts, which resulted in its separation from MicrobeLibrary (www.microbelibrary.org). It is now open access and has broadened its scope. The May issue features abstracts from the 2010 ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators. The JMBE editorial board has been expanded, and the editorial process now closely mirrors that of other ASM journals. The formation of JMBE’s editorial committee and the appointment of its chair, Chris Woolverton, a professor of biological sciences at Kent State University and editor-in-chief of the journal, were approved unanimously by the ASM Council. In addition, the journal was accepted for international indexing by the Directory of Open Access Journals. Visit http://jmbe.asm.org to view the new issue and author guidelines. Submissions for issue 2, to be published in December are due September 1.

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Biotechnology Institute to Host Conference on Bioscience Education

The Biotechnology Institute is now accepting registrations for Teach BioScience!, a training program for teachers who want to bring state-of-the-art bioscience education to their classrooms. The new conference, to be held October 15-20 in Washington, DC, in conjunction with AdvaMed, the leading conference for medical device professionals, allows educators to custom design a professional development experience that meets their needs. Teach BioScience! offers up to six days of professional development and up to 34 contact hours. The program includes leadership development, hands-on wet labs, corporate visits, and networking opportunities. Those who are teaching or planning to teach bioscience content to science, career, or technical education students at precollege and associate degree levels are encouraged to attend. See more details at www.biotechinstitute.org/programs/ConferenceBioscienceEducation_2010.html, or contact Scott May (smay@biotechinstitute.org or 571-527-3256).

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Keck/PKAL National Colloquium: Transformative Change in STEM Education

As this new century continues to unfold, it is becoming even more apparent that students will need to be competent and confident in their abilities to think and act across disciplinary lines. PKAL’s Facilitating Interdisciplinary Learning (IDL) project, funded by the W.M. Keck Foundation, has involved 30 diverse campus teams around the country in a conversation about what works and what needs to happen to better prepare students for interdisciplinary STEM thinking and doing. The Keck/PKAL National Colloquium is the celebratory conclusion of this three-year project. The work of the campus teams has been focused on making recommendations and defining successful strategies in three key areas: * Interdisciplinary STEM learning and assessment * Institutional vision, cultures, and practices * Leadership and institutional change

The National Colloquium, “Transformative Change in STEM Education: Leadership for Advancing Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Learning,” is designed to engage participants in developing a strategic leadership action agenda to advance interdisciplinary STEM learning for all students. Registration deadline is September 10, 2010. For details, see www.aacu.org/pkal/kecknationalcolloquium.cfm.

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PKAL/AAC&U Conference: Engaged STEM Learning

Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL), in partnership with AAC&U, announces the 2011 Network for Academic Renewal conference, Engaged STEM Learning: From Promising to Pervasive Practices. This interactive, hands-on conference will help campuses adapt, scale up, and sustain effective practices in STEM teaching and learning. The conference is designed for participants who wish to develop faculty and institutional leadership in STEM reform, broaden student participation and success in STEM fields, better assess engaged STEM learning in both the majors and general education, and connect the revitalization of STEM learning with ongoing campus work in Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP). Session proposals are due August 31, 2010. For more information, see www.aacu.org/meetings/stem/index.cfm.

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