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Research-Education Integration

We collaborate with artists, engineers, biologists, science communicators, and educators to develop resources to communicate science and train community scientists to collect ecological and science communication data.

 

Biodiversity and Disease Community Science Initiative

To investigate how outreach/ community science efforts influence community perception and understanding of science we developed a three-phased program (Phase 1: Content development, Phase 2: Training workshops, Phase 3: Data collection

Funding: NSF CAREER #2042970

Lead PhD Student: Kyra Ricci

 PHASE 1: CONTENT DEVELOPMENT

 


Resources: Lesson plan (pdf) + Graphic novel

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*Please contact for free digital copies jhua23@wisc.edu

 Step 1: Training 3rd grade educators to use lesson plan and graphic novel content to teach 3rd graders about wetland biodiversity and disease.

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 Step 2: Training 3rd grader to collect amphibian biodiversity data.

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 Step 3: Training first-year college students in FRI program on how to quantify disease in amphibians.

 

Phase 2: TRAINING WORKSHOPS

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Broad ecological question: Why are some amphibian communities more susceptible to disease than others?

Predictions: (1) Amphibian communities living closer to human activities will have higher disease prevalence.

(2) Amphibian communities with higher amphibian biodiversity will have lower disease prevalence. 

PROGRESS:

- Spring and Summer 2022: With the help of ~600 local 3rd graders and their third grade teachers, we have collected amphibian biodiversity data from 8 field sites. 

- In Fall of 2022, first-year students in the First-year Research Immersion program (Ecological Genetics Stream) will quantify disease prevalence in the amphibians that the 3rd grader teams helped to collect.

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EDUCATION + SCIENCE COMMUNICATION QUESTIONS:

Broad sci-comm question: Can using alternative teaching tools (e.g., graphic novels) improve student understanding of wetland ecology and biodiversity and perception of science?

Predictions: Compared to traditional lectures, the use of art in the form of graphic novels will improve 3rd grader understanding of wetland ecology and biodiversity and lead to a more positive perception of science. 

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PROGRESS:

Spring and Summer 2022: Surveys and quiz data collected across three time points for ~600 students.

Data analysis ongoing! Stay tuned for updates! 

Phase 3: DATA COLLECTION

Data analysis ongoing! Stay tuned for updates! 

EDUCATION + SCIENCE COMMUNICATION QUESTIONS:

Wetland Parasite Ecology 

To communicate the importance of parasites to wetland ecosystems we developed educational content, conducted workshops for teachers, and a field trip for >500 third grade students

Funding: Schumann Foundation and NSF DEB Collaborative Grant #1655190

Lead PhD Student: Dr. Vanessa Wuerthner

 

Resources: Wetlands lesson plan + Children's book 

(Gemma Jones visits Nuthatch Hollow- A Wetland Adventure) 

Click images below to download resources.

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Other K-6 teaching resources

 

Please contact (jhua23@wisc.edu) for digital copies of lesson plans:

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