One of the activities that is very common for teaching diversity or microbial diversity is the candy activity. In this activity, a sample community of candy is explored and used (and later, eaten) to make measures of diversity in a simple (and delicious) form. I elected to use jellybeans, since the known diversity would help us do this quickly. In this case, our richness is 49 (if your species definition includes flavor).Continue reading “The Jellybean Diversity Activity”
The following is a reproduction of my article, entitled “Keep carbon in the ground: a scientific exploration of climate change and soil health,” which was published in the Ecological Landscape Alliance newsletter in October, 2018.
Soils rich in carbon are healthy soils, but climate change and poor management practices threaten to degrade soil carbon stores and in turn, degrade soils. In this article, I’ll present a brief overview of the current scientific understanding of why keeping carbon in the ground is important, and what factors are most critical in maintaining healthy soils.Continue reading “Keep carbon in the ground: a scientific exploration of climate change and soil health”
I’ve been a pod leader for our local 500 Women Scientists group since 2017 (I think), but only recently have we achieved a quorum and are doing some great things! We registered 100 students to vote ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, and assisted with at least a hundred more in finding their polling places and planning to vote.
This year, we’re planning on monthly Third Thursdays for postcard and letter writing, helping to organize the March for Science (scheduled for April 27, 2019), and more. Join us!
For the Microbiology Honors Colloquium, we take a tour of eight microbiology labs around campus, including sequencing facilities, animal facilities, greenhouses, microscope facilities, or anything that is critical, unique, or just cool. Students take turns hosting each visit by interviewing and then introducing the scientist whose lab we are visiting. They then have an opportunity to ask questions about their profession and career, career paths, and more. We also design the department T-shirts, and take at least one longer microbiology-themed field trip to somewhere else in the area.
Here are some nice things that students said about last year’s class:
This was my favorite course this semester and one of my favorites in college. Meeting professors in their lab and outside of a traditional classroom setting was awesome and allowed the professors to appear like normal people and allow the students to see themselves as a future researcher.
and,Continue reading “Thanks to the scientists sharing the next big thing in Microbiology with the UMass Honors Undergraduate Colloquium”