Abstract Detail

Education and Outreach

Elkin, Lucy [1], Mansour, Isabel [2], Kollar, Leslie [3], Antonenko, Pavlo [4], Sessa, Emily [5], Davis, E. Christine  [6].

Web-based modules for teaching flagellate plant morphology.

The flagellate plants (bryophytes, lycophytes, ferns, and gymnosperms) are critical but often-overlooked aspects of plant biodiversity on Earth. Plants in general are often ignored (a phenomenon known as “plant blindness”) and flagellate plants suffer disproportionately from this, because of their size and perceived lack of importance. GoFlag is an NSF-funded project to produce DNA sequence data and related phylogenetic resources for flagellate plants, which are in fact essential to ecosystem functioning and global nutrient cycling. The education and outreach goals of the project are aimed at improving understanding of and appreciation for these organisms and addressing the phenomenon of plant blindness in general.  
A core aim of the GoFlag project is to integrate data produced during our research with education tools and activities for multiple audiences, including formal and informal K-12 learning environments and the public. We have developed a website, the Flagellate Plant Phylogeny Voyager, where our teachable units, activities, and implementation guides are hosted. The Voyager curriculum consists of multiple units that can be taught independently or linked together as larger modules under various themes (e.g., The World’s Carbon Bank, Diversity and Phylogenetics). Morphology tutorials serve several purposes in this broad framework that make them an essential component of our education activities. They provide basic content knowledge about the plants we are studying; increase students’ ability to recognize and communicate about these plants when they encounter them, by providing basic vocabulary and concepts; conceptually link together the various units by highlighting similarities and differences among the plants; and increase participants’ appreciation of the beauty and importance of these organisms. This summer, our education team (including two REU students) have developed these interactive morphology tutorials for five major lineages of the flagellate plants, which will be integrated with several of the themed modules we are building for K-12 and public education audiences. 
*Elkin and Mansour are co-first authors of this work.

1 - Washington and Jefferson College, Biology, 50 South Lincoln St Box520, Washington , PA, 15301, USA
2 - Colorado College, Organismal Biology & Ecology, Colorado Springs, CO, 80903, USA
3 - University of Florida, Biology Department, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA
4 - University of Florida, College of Education, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA
5 - University Of Florida, Biology, Box 118525, 521A Bartram Hall, Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States
6 - University Of Florida, Department Of Biology, Bartram-Carr Hall, P.O Box 118525, Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States

plant blindness
active learning

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: PEO006
Abstract ID:389
Candidate for Awards:None

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