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Thursday, April 23, 2020, 02:00pm - 03:00pm
Contact ibfrontdesk@austin.utexas.edu

TITLE: "Walkin’ and Talkin’ the Tree of Life: Why and How to Teach Biodiversity"

Harry W. Greene, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University

In this talk I will reflect on ~15 years teaching biodiversity in the context of large (>300 students) freshmen biology courses, for both majors and non-majors. I’ll describe mistakes made, lessons learned, and an approach based on 1) limiting the total number of taxa to ~150; 2) forcefully illustrating at the onset why all biologically inclined citizens, including pre-med students, needs a working knowledge of the Tree of Life; 3) placing emphasis on the focal taxa and tree topology rather than formal ranks (no “phyla,” “classes,” etc.); and 4) insofar as possible encouraging active learning rather than memorization.

Location: NHB 1.720

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