Squirrel-Net will be at the 2021 Virtual Meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists! Will you be attending too? If so, we’d love to connect with you!
Here are a few events on the schedule where you can get involved with Squirrel-Net activities, the Nuts behind Squirrel-Net, and other events about education in mammalogy!
Live Workshop III: CUREs - Monday June 14th, 5pm ET / 4pm CT / 3pm MT / 2pm PT
Research opportunities are critical occasions for undergraduate students to experience the scientific process, develop technical skills and workforce readiness, evaluate career decisions, and build self-confidence. However, extracurricular opportunities to work in a lab typically benefit select, well-prepared students and often reinforce structural inequalities that discourage students from underrepresented minorities. In contrast, course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) are becoming a common way to introduce more students to research because they engage all students enrolled in a course in an authentic experience. Despite growing recognition of the importance of providing such opportunities, many instructors may find developing and implementing CUREs in their own classes to be challenging due to lack of institutional support, class size limitations, or the need to balance other teaching and research obligations.
In this free workshop, the Nuts behind Squirrel-Net will introduce attendees to the CURE modules, provide opportunity for hands-on practice with the protocols, and disseminate materials to interested instructors. During this workshop, we will specifically:
Introduce the concept and framework of a CURE and its benefits to undergraduate students. We will also describe how CUREs may be an important venue for promoting diversity in science and encouraging students from underrepresented backgrounds to develop an identity as a scientist.
Discuss how the Squirrel-Net CURE modules provide students with repeated opportunities to conduct authentic research on the behavioral ecology of squirrels, a topic that is intrinsically interesting and can be explored in a range of habitats, including most college campuses.
Present our 4 CURE modules focused on behavioral ecology of sciurid rodents, as well as available instructor resources (e.g., background, protocol, tips for implementation, and online tools that aggregate student-collected data for in-class analysis). We will also discuss how these modules can be adapted for a variety of students and at different kinds of institutions.
Discuss the Squirrel-Net network, ideas for implementation, related course assignments, and initial assessment results. Specifically, our national network provides students an opportunity to contribute to a broader effort that extends beyond their own classroom. It also provides tools and training to instructors who seek to increase opportunities for authentic research engagement.
End with a Q&A session with faculty presenters from at least 8 institutions that have participated in developing and piloting the Squirrel-Net CUREs.
Attending this workshop is free, and can be easily added when you register for the conference! If you have already registered for the conference but would like to add this workshop, you may contact Christy Classi (cclassi -at- mammalsociety -dot- org) in the ASM Business Office and ask to have your registration modified to include this workshop!
Symposium I: Advances in Teaching Mammalogy - Tuesday June 15th, 3:30pm ET / 2:30pm CT / 1:30pm MT / 12:30pm PT
Teaching mammalogy, wildlife, or ecology courses continues to evolve as students, pedagogy, and technology changes. Organizations such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) have called for transformations in undergraduate science education to develop professional skills, apply new and emerging technologies, and broaden participation in science by supporting all students. However, many mammalogists must balance teaching with research and other academic responsibilities, and it can be difficult to find the time and opportunities to learn about changing teaching philosophies and pedagogies.
In this symposium, we will present and share strategies for meeting the learning and professional needs of our students, with a focus on current advances in undergraduate education relevant to those teaching courses related to mammalogy, wildlife, or ecology. Specifically, we will provide an opportunity to learn about successful teaching strategies, discover available instruction materials, and develop new ideas with colleagues who have similar teaching responsibilities and research interests.
Presentations in this symposium:
Advances in undergraduate education over the last 20 years (Presenter: Elizabeth Flaherty, Purdue University)
Teaching mammalogy online: responding to the Covid-19 challenge (Sean Beckman, Stetson University).
Engaging undergraduate students in authentic research in mammalogy: course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) (Presenters: Laurie Dizney, University of Portland; and Johanna Varner, Colorado Mesa University)
Engaging undergraduate students in authentic research in mammalogy: On-campus research experiences (Karen Munroe, Baldwin Wallace University)
Integrating evidence-based teaching practices into the mammalogy classroom (Presenter: Lorelei Patrick, Fort Hayes State University)
Teaching mammalogy for a diverse classroom (Presenter: Jennifer Duggan, California State University, Monterey Bay)
Embedding professional skill development into undergraduate mammalogy and ecology courses (Presenter: Chris Yahnke, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point; and Hayley Lanier, University of Oklahoma)
Although all of the talks will be pre-recorded, they will be streamed live during the symposium and speakers will be available for live Q&A. Finally, the last 15 minutes of the symposium will involve a live panel discussion with all presenters and a brainstorming session about developing common learning objectives for undergraduate mammalogy courses.
Attending this symposium is free with your registration for the conference!
Be sure to register!
Registration is open until the end of the conference, but the cost goes up after May 31st, so be sure to register before then!
Do you have questions about any of the Squirrel-Net events at ASM virtual? Share your thoughts in the comments. We can’t wait to hear from you!