Webinar: An Arctos and Aim-Up! Educational Module

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Tue, 2019-03-26 15:04 -- maphillips

Title: An Arctos and Aim-Up! Educational Module

Date: Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

Time: 3pm ET

Where: https://idigbio.adobeconnect.com/room

Presenter: Joseph Cook (Curator of Mammals and Genomic Resources, Museum of Southwestern Biology)


Recent NSF collaborations such as Aim-UP! (Advancing Integration of Museums into Undergraduate Programs), BLUE (Biodiversity Literacy in Undergraduate Education), and QUBES (Quantitative Undergraduate Biology Education and Synthesis) develop educational modules that leverage the vast information contained in natural history museum archives and cyberinfrastructures to provide collections-based training in large-scale questions for students. This webinar will provide an introduction to a module first developed in Aim-UP! and later expanded in BLUE and QUBES on the theme of Islands as a Tool for Teaching Ecology and Evolution. The module has been used in several ecology and evolutionary courses in home schools, high schools, and undergraduate programs and is an example of how educators can begin to use digital biodiversity data to actively engage students in the scientific process.


Islands as a Tool for Teaching Ecology and Evolution

Island biogeography is the study of the distribution and dynamics of insular (island) species and also provides a foundation for the design of conservation plans. Over the past 160 years, studies of islands systems played a fundamental role in the formation of ecological and evolutionary theory (Darwin, 1859; Wallace, 1902; MacArthur and Wilson, 1967) including advances in our understanding of processes related to colonization, extinction, and speciation. Today, new technology (e.g., DNA markers, GoogleEarth, GIS applications) allows intensive studies of island systems worldwide and these studies are providing new insights into these important biomes.

Phase I) The Influence of Island Size, Distance, and Elevation on Species Richness across a northern latitude Archipelago

Lesson Information:

1. Key Concepts:

  • Island biogeography principles
  • The scientific process and hypothesis testing
  • Statistical methods (t-tests, regression)
  • Online database use and availability
  • Introduce the various island effects, including predictions for diversity
  • Species richness (Phase 1) and body size (Phase 2).
  • Introduce how biodiversity databases can test key concepts.

2. Skills:

  • Hypothesis Testing
  • Computer/database search/data cleaning
  • Simple statistical analysis
  • Literature search and current literature
  • Scientific writing

Key Island Biogeography Trends:
* Species diversity related to island area (MacArthur and Wilson 1967):

  • Compared to the mainland, all islands should have lower species diversity.
  • Small islands should have lower species diversity than larger islands.

Natural history collections data are based on permanently archived specimens that serve as a reference for the taxonomy, evolution, and ecology of biological species. Specimens are linked to valuable metadata (e.g., collection date, location, habitat, images, community assemblage, phenology), are now web-accessible, and allow repeatable, iterative, and expanded studies as new questions arise or new investigative techniques are developed. These biodiversity data also are unparalleled in temporal, geographic, and taxonomic complexity.

Arctos is a collection management information system that provides access to a large collection of digitized natural history museum records. Arctos’ multidisciplinary collection management information system integrates access to diverse types of collections (botany, entomology, herpetology, mammalogy , ornithology,  paleontology, parasitology) and data, including specimen records, observations, tissues, endoparasites and ectoparasites, stomach contents, field notes and other documents, and media such as images, audio recordings, and video. This system is intended for use by collection managers, curators, collection users, scientists, educators, students, and anyone interested in natural history information.

Can’t Make It?: View archived recordings here https://arctosdb.org/learn/webinars/

Start Date: 
Tuesday, April 09, 2019 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm EDT
Remote Connection URL: