"Brain Structure and Its Origins, Spring 2009"
" Outline of mammalian functional neuroanatomy, aided by studies of comparative neuroanatomy and evolution, and of brain development. Topics include early steps to a central nervous system, basic patterns of brain and spinal cord connections, regional development and differentiation, regeneration, motor and sensory pathways and structures, systems underlying motivations, innate action patterns, formation of habits, and various cognitive functions. Lab techniques reviewed. Optional brain dissect
"Neuropharmacology, January IAP 2009"
" The neuropharmacology course will discuss the drug-induced changes in functioning of the nervous system. The specific focus of this course will be to provide a description of the cellular and molecular actions of drugs on synaptic transmission. This course will also refer to specific diseases of the nervous system and their treatment in addition to giving an overview of the techniques used for the study of neuropharmacology. This course is offered during the Independent Activities Period (IAP)
"Game Design, Spring 2008"
" An historical examination and analysis of the evolution and development of games and game mechanics. Topics include a large breadth of genres and types of games, including sports, game shows, games of chance, schoolyard games, board games, roleplaying games, and digital games. Students submit essays documenting research and analysis of a variety of traditional and eclectic games. Project teams required to design, develop, and thoroughly test their original games."
Looking East: Theatre of Yugen
SPARK goes backstage with the Theatre of Yugen for their adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and The Sea. This Educator Guide addresses fusion in theatrical productions, the traditions of Japanese Noh, and the unique techniques employed by Theatre of Yugen to achieve their signature style.
Radiation Terror 101
This topic introduces you to general radiation principles, radiation safety and protection, and the basic types of radiological terror, and also provides practical guidance on acute response techniques and general countermeasures.
Conflict resolution: Using standards
The message of this unit is that there are certain techniques available that can make it easier to develop agreements: one of them is using standards.
The purpose of this activity is to determine the amount of moisture input to the local environment by measuring rain and snowfall and to measure the pH of precipitation. To do so students use a rain gauge and a snowboard to measure the daily amount of precipitation. Special pH measuring techniques for precipitation are used to determine the pH of rain and melted snow. Intended outcomes are that students will understand that precipitation is measured in depth and this depth is assumed to apply to
Mid-level spreadsheeting and complex modeling of real-world scarp evolution
This lab activity is a familiarization exercise in spreadsheet modeling, and is also a mathematical model for slope evolution. It aims to familiarize students with moderately complex Excel manipulations, reinforce good technical graphical techniques, and introduce basic mathematical modeling of natural ...
Determining Earthquake Probability and Recurrence from Past Seismic Events
Students completing this homework and in-class exercise use historical data from small earthquakes to estimate the recurrence interval of They are encouraged to examine sampling limitations, thoughtfully deal with outliers, compare the results of various techniques and consider the societal impacts of their results. This activity is designed for the Pacific Northwest, but could easily be altered for any other area. Learning goals, context for use, teaching tips, materials, assessment tips and re
USGS Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations: Frequency Curves
This 21-page pdf file is Book 4, Chapter A2 of a series of manuals on techniques and procedures for planning and executing specialized work in water-resources investigations. It describes procedures for preparing frequency curves from samples of hydrologic data. It also discusses the theory of frequency curves, compares advantages of graphical and mathematical fitting, suggests methods of describing graphically defined frequency curves analytically, and emphasizes the correct interpretations of
Vectors and slope stability
This activity is designed to teach students with little or no experience with vectors, free-body diagrams, or the like to apply vectors to slope stability problems. Students first learn the basic properties of vectors, vector addition, resolving forces, etc. They then apply these techniques to establish in a simplified way how geologists can determine if a slope is stable, how much loading a slope can withstand before it becomes unstable, and other principles of slope stability determination. Le
Star Library: Counting Eights: A First Activity in the Study and Interpretation of Probability
Students explore the definition and interpretations of the probability of an event by investigating the long run proportion of times a sum of 8 is obtained when two balanced dice are rolled repeatedly. Making use of hand calculations, computer simulations, and descriptive techniques, students encounter ...
Sensory Perception and Communication in Electric Fish
This exercise provides practice in a number of important general animal behavior techniques such as maintenance of freshwater aquaria, the use of an oscilloscope and other electronic devises for behavioral recording, and the taxonomic identification of fish.
Sister Chromatid Differentiation and Exchange in Chinese Hamster Ovary Cells in Culture
This laboratory exercise is designed to illustrate the semi-conservative mode of DNA duplication through the expression of sister chromatid differentiation (SCD), the single-stranded nature of the eukaryotic chromosome organization, and the mutagenic effects of certain chemical or physical agents through induced sister chromatid exchange (SCE). Through individual work and/or a group project, students will learn the basic cell culturing and cytogenetic techniques for chromosome studies, especiall
Species Diversity, Island Biogeography, and the Design of Nature Reserves
This field and laboratory investigation is an open-ended exercise designed to test predictions from island biogeography theory using various-sized fragments of leaf litter arthropod communities as "island" systems. Litter islands are constructed in a deciduous forest and students collect samples of leaf litter and extract arthropods using the Berlese Funnel technique. After arthropods are collected, students learn identification techniques, compute diversity indices, construct dominance-diversit
Stream and Pond Field Trip
Streams and ponds offer good opportunities for comparative studies of biological communities. This exercise describes techniques for sampling aquatic organisms and quantifying habitat features that influence the kinds of organisms found in aquatic habitats. Inexpensive home-made alternatives to commercially-made ...
The Kankapot Creek Coast Guard: Public service through water quality monitoring of a stressed stream
The Biology Department at the University of Wisconsin -- Fox Valley is carrying out a long-term project in which students gather water quality data on a nearby impaired stream. These data will eventually be used to help formulate a restoration plan for the stream. This exercise follows the procedures our students use to assess stream habitat quality, chemical and physical parameters, and benthic macroinvertebrate diversity and pollution tolerance. Data collection is completed in the field using
The Power of Genetics: Using Classical and Molecular Genetics to Study "Real" Developmental Phenomen
The goal of this laboratory exercise is to provide a laboratory experience for undergraduates, in which they apply fundamental genetic principles to the study of a complex developmental process, specifically, root cell shape determination in the simple plant Arabidopsis thaliana. In this exercise, students identify putative root cell shape mutants, analyze an F2 segregating population, and finally use molecular techniques to determine where a specific mutation in located within the genome. This
Tracheid Length Measurement in Selected Conifer Species
This exercise illustrates the techniques for macerating wood and staining, mounting, and measuring tracheids. Mean tracheid length is different in different species of conifers; therefore, this laboratory can be expanded into a larger scale comparative measurement exercise.
Use PCR and a Single Hair to Produce a "DNA Fingerprint"
As a former student once commented, "PCR is the sliced bread of molecular biology". Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is a process that allows an investigator to amplify a portion of a single piece of DNA into over one billion copies. We have used PCR with our Introductory Biology students to generate a simple "DNA fingerprint". This exercise will outline all the steps required to generate a DNA fingerprint for each student during two lab meetings. This article covers the background information co