ROOM: RSCC, F5
Research opportunities are critical occasions for undergraduate students to experience the scientific process, develop technical skills and workforce readiness, and evaluate career decisions. However, such opportunities typically benefit select, well-prepared students. In contrast, course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) are becoming a common way to introduce more students to research because they engage all students enrolled in a course in an authentic experience. During this workshop, we will introduce the concept and framework of a CURE within the context of a set of network-supported CURE modules focused on behavioral ecology currently implemented across multiple course levels and institutions. We will discuss how this CURE series, Squirrel-Net, provides students with repeated opportunities to conduct authentic research on the behavioral ecology of squirrels, a topic that is both intrinsically interesting and can be explored across a wide range of habitats, geographic locations, and specifically on most college and university campuses. This network provides tools and training to instructors who seek to increase opportunities for authentic research engagement. We will present a set of open-access teaching modules, including instructor resources (e.g., background, protocol, tips for implementation in various courses, and online tools that aggregate student-collected data for in-class analysis). We will share the CURE network framework, ideas for course implementation, related course activities and assignments, and initial assessment results with workshop attendees. We also will work with attendees to brainstorm ideas for their own CUREs and will end with a panel discussion of faculty from three institutions that have participated in the Squirrel-Net CURE.
Organizers: Elizabeth Flaherty, Liesl Erb, Jennifer Duggan
Supported by: Purdue University, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources; Warren Wilson College