Advanced: Research Experiences in Biology
Biology III is a 3-credit advanced biology course designed to help you strengthen your knowledge base and science practice skills for success in your profession, professional school or graduate work in the biological sciences. In our LB348 classes, you learn how to analyze the way scientists think about questions in their own discipline and how to pursue professional research projects.
This course is a laboratory-focused or research-focused experience, where you will regularly collect and evaluate laboratory data and/or participate in field research in molecular, cellular, or organismal biology. Field trips are required.
The "skills" learning goals for Biology III are the same as those from Biology I & II. It takes years for scientists to master these practices so you will also be provided with more time and higher level experience by which you will practice, refine and excel in these scientific practices, both in the lecture and lab rooms:
- Communicate: Conversation aimed at a variety of audiences important for scientists: (Ben says: "Their data predicts squirrels will hit light speed!" Jen responds: "But they have zero data at that part of the graph.")
- Speaking: practice speaking and listening to others in large & small groups.
- Reading: practice careful and critical reading of text, identification of important points & ideas, as well as slow deliberate reading and interpretation of figures and graphs.
- Writing: practice composition of text, writing manuscripts, building figures and graphs.
- Thinking: practice identifying data and evaluating author's evidence-based arguments.
- Collaborate: Confidently cooperate in teamwork, and practice team building, team communication and leadership. (e.g. use techniques like "that's a good idea, OK, how can we improve it even more?" "Jon, you haven't spoken much, what do you think?")
- Analyze: Interpret evidence collected during experiments, looking for patterns and different ways to represent data, and using logical and/or quantitative reasoning to defend or reject hypotheses (claims).
- Design: Apply science process skills, such as: developing hypotheses, making predictions, and designing experiments to test them (e.g. design an experiment to determine whether it's change in temperature or sunlight that causes leaves to turn red in Fall).
- Reflect: Develop personal learning goals and reflect on your progress throughout the semester. (e.g. regularly consider "OK, what I am supposed to be learning here? Have I mastered that topic? What next?")