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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions


BIOSM 1500 Investigative Marine Biology Laboratory

Course description

(summer only) This course is only offered in the Summer Session.

This course is a 2 week, 3 credit, field intensive marine-based introduction to the scientific method and experimental biology. We take advantage of the unique learning opportunities in the intertidal zone around Appledore Island, Maine at the Shoals Marine Laboratory. The course philosophy is to allow students to learn the scientific method by doing research under the guidance of veteran marine biologists. The course is structured around two research projects that are designed to expose students to diverse research areas within marine biology: Ecomechanics and Ecophysiology. Outcome 1: Scientific method. Students will: a. appreciate the power and limitations of science as a way of knowing. b. understand and apply the structure of the scientific method. c. understand and apply principles of good experimental design and data collection. d. learn how to carry out statistical testing, analysis, and graphing using R software. Outcome 2: 2. Scientific information literacy. Students will: a. learn how to use online research tools for scholarly literature and bioinformatics. b. learn how to cite sources using proper format. Outcome 3: 3. Scientific communication. Students will: a. demonstrate understanding of the structure of scientific papers and their relationship to the scientific method via four writing assignments. b. demonstrate principles of data analysis, slide design, and oral communication via participation in a scientific symposium at the end of the course. Outcome 4: 4. Knowledge of and ability to use equipment in the lab and field. Students will: a. understand the importance of measurement to the scientific process b. demonstrate proper use of equipment such as pipets, calipers, micrometers, gel electrophoresis rigs, force transducers, and dissolved oxygen probes. c. demonstrate proficiency with the use of remote sensing devices such as CTD probes, and HoboTemp temperature probes. d. demonstrate proficiency with biological imaging using microscopes and cameras. e. demonstrate proficiency with image processing using Image software. Outcome 5: 5. Conceptual knowledge pertaining to two laboratory modules. Students will master introductory concepts in two areas: a. Marine Ecophysiology b. Marine Biomechanics Outcome 6: 6. Additional goals. Students will: a. be empowered to undertake their own scientific investigations. b. practice critical thinking skills as background for MCAT and GRE. c. take ownership of the material. d. learn how to work cooperatively with others toward a common goal.

Successful completion of BioSM 1500 fulfills requirements of several Cornell majors. Contact the Cornell Academic Coordinator (rhs4) for details.


The next offering of this course is undetermined at this time. Find similar upcoming programs by tag: biology, ecology/nature, marine science, summer, U.S. (east)

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