Request for help

Carl Pike c_pike at ACAD.FANDM.EDU
Fri May 4 08:25:31 EST 2001

In theory, there might not be anything wrong with an integrated 
plants/animals/microbes approach to the core.  Ask the proponents of 
the scheme to produce a syllabus, showing the specific lectures and 
labs that will involve plants, and how plants and animals will be 
integrated.  While you may not be able to get an equal number of 
classes devoted to plants vs. animals, then something like 60/40 
could be a target.  If you have team taught core courses that are 
organized by level (cell, population, etc.) it would be important to 
have a botanist associated with each.

There could be certain topics of broad biological importance where 
plants are used as the example.  for example, I introduce the topic 
of ion channels and their regulation by using guard cells.  then 
later when we get to nerve cells I say, "go back and review what you 
know about channels, membrane potential, etc. and we'll see how there 
are a few little differences".   When you talk about local 
communication, use jasmonic acid as the example, and then say, "Oh, 
by the way, prostaglandins are probably the animal version of the 
same system."

You could even ask your zoological colleagues to tell YOU some cases 
where they would use the plant systems.  In a discussion of global 
warming/CO2, use the effects on plants of the added CO2 as well as of 
the temperature.

the labs you have sound great!  If there is an integrated course, ALL 
the instructors will have to do these things.  Look into the 
investigational programs that are being developed nationally 
(researchlink 2000) - they include many plant-based systems, which 
have advantages (cost, regulations, etc.) for large intro courses.


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