Matters that matter with plants in the UG curriculum

Wilson Crone cronewil at hvcc.edu
Mon Mar 6 10:03:17 EST 2000


As Jon Monroe circulated earlier, there's going to be a meeting this summer
about "bringing plant biology into the curriculum."
http://www.pkal.org/curricul/keystone/seriesc.html           I plan to offer
my two cents there regarding the community college perspective, and as I
wrote Jon, I will be glad to send Plant-ed a summary.  My main way of
bringing in plant subjects to the broad spectrum of biology students have
been to use them as semester-long experimental organisms.  The Wisconsin
fast plants   http://fastplants.cals.wisc.edu/

have been a favorite with a lot of folks, and our choice of organism here at
HVCC, given our space and time considerations.  I know that Carl McDaniel at
RPI (my postdoc advisor) uses brassica experimentation as the total basis
for the lab (from the Rensselaer catalog):

BIOL-1010 Introduction to Biology
Introduction to animals, microorganisms, and plants. Discussion of problems
associated with biological organization. The ecology of individuals and
populations. Introduction to biochemical, evolutionary, genetic,
physiological, and developmental principles. The course considers the
biological components of various societal and individual problems.
Laboratory teaches how science is done by students making observations and
then developing and experimentally testing student formulated hypotheses.
(Students cannot receive credit for both this course and BIOL-1040.) Fall
term annually. 4 credit hours

BIOL-1020 Introduction to Biology Laboratory
Laboratory teaches how science is done by students making observations and
then developing and experimentally testing student formulated hypotheses.
Fall term annually. 1 credit hour, 3 contact hours

This does not make him popular with the premeds, but at least they learn a
little something about the science behind biology.

In summary, I would say that using plants to run experiments, to generate
hypothesis testing, may be one of the best themes we can push to keep
"green" in the undergraduate listings.  Bill Crone, HVCC Biology

Wilson Crone
Assistant Professor
Department of Biology
Hudson Valley Community College
Troy, NY 12180
(518) 629-7439 (voice), -8025 (fax)
cronewil at hvcc.edu
http://www.hvcc.edu/academ/faculty/crone/index.html

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