Course description

Designed for biological sciences majors to provide lab experience with emphasis on processes of scientific investigations and to promote communication, literacy and collaboration in science. Students gain expertise in methods including instrumentation used by biologists to construct new knowledge. Lab topics include genetics, evolution, ecology, biochemistry, and molecular biology.

The course modules follow the “crawl, walk, run” approach to develop a students’ capacity for solving increasingly challenging problems with greater independence. First, the students fill their scientific “tool box” with skills needed to be able to design and carry out experiments. The first module is structured (Antibiotic Resistance), followed by a module that provides more academic freedom (Limiting Nutrient). Lastly, the Human Microsatellite DNA unit emphasizes the importance of accuracy and precision in science.

Outcome 1: To expose students to realistic scientific questions and encourage critical thinking, teach how to design hypothesis-based experiments, choose appropriate statistical test(s), analyze data, and interpret results.

Outcome 2: To fill students’ scientific “tool box” by demonstrating mastery of modern lab techniques and scientific methods that can later be applied across varied biological systems and scales.

Outcome 3: To teach students how to find relevant scientific information using appropriate library tools, and to communicate effectively using both written and oral formats.

Outcome 4: To teach students how to think through a scientific process with their research group while acquiring conceptual knowledge and understanding the benefits and challenges of collaborative work.

Outcome 5: To teach how to use discovery science to explore patterns in nature, and understand the importance of accuracy and precision.

Outcome 6: To provide students with the opportunity to learn and apply fundamental biological information in the context of the course modules.

Forbidden Overlap: due to an overlap in content, students will not receive credit for both BIOG 1500 and PLSCI 1420. Biological sciences majors must take course for a letter grade.

Summer 2024: Online course

Mark Akos Sarvary
Mark Akos Sarvary
Director of the Investigative Biology Teaching Laboratories

Summer 2024: Online course