Abstract Detail

Education and Outreach

McCauley, Ross [1].

Using digitized herbarium data for authentic research experiences in undergraduate botany courses.

Studies have shown that incorporating authentic research experiences into undergraduate STEM courses is important to realistically demonstrate the process of science and serves to heighten student interest.  Incorporating these experiences however can be challenging due to issues of cost, access, and student preparedness.  In botany, timing of most courses over the winter additionally restricts studies to greenhouse and growth chamber experiments that don’t always fit the broader course content.  To overcome these limitations and provide course-based research experience, students in my Plant Form and Function (Bio 325) and Systematic Botany (Bio 302) courses have been using digitized herbarium material to serve as a data source for open-ended inquiry-based studies. Following a formal introduction to specimen digitization, available data portals, and discussion of types of data available from specimens, students are allowed to generate novel questions, prepare a short literature review, and propose an experimental design for their study.  Following instructor review, students collect their data, perform analysis, and present their findings orally in a class “research symposium”.  The open-ended nature of these experiments has allowed students to tailor their work to their skills and interests (level of statistical experience, GIS programing knowledge, etc.) as they apply to botany and has led to greater engagement. Here I present examples of some of these projects ranging from studies of phenology, to digital morphometrics, co-evolutionary patterns, and the relationship of rare species to specific edaphic conditions.

1 - Fort Lewis College, Department Of Biology, 1000 Rim Drive, Durango, CO, 81301, United States

digitized herbarium data

Presentation Type: Poster This poster will be presented at 6:15 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PEO002
Abstract ID:292
Candidate for Awards:None

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