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Undergraduate research provides students with hands-on opportunities to engage in real science, which can have numerous positive benefits academic, career, and personal aspects of a college student’s life. Transfer students have the option to engage in meaningful research through one of two ways.

Path 1: Research-Focused Introductory Biology Laboratory Courses

Students in these introductory biology laboratory courses gain experience in authentic research practices using DNA barcoding. This molecular technique can identify taxonomically unknown species via unique DNA sequences (similar to a UPC barcode on consumer products). In the first semester laboratory course (BIO140), students work together to learn techniques and concepts from a variety of fields (e.g. ecology, molecular biology, systematics, bioinformatics) needed to understand DNA barcoding, and then apply this knowledge to catalog the biodiversity of areas surrounding campus. In the second semester laboratory course (BIO150), students collaboratively design and carry out their own original research projects using DNA barcoding techniques. Examples of these student-driven research projects include: identifying the composition of pollen species in making local honey, evaluating the appropriateness of sushi labelling, and examining whether species of leeches sold online are safe for medicinal leeching treatments. 

Path 2: Non-Introductory Laboratory Courses

Students with appropriate introductory biology transfer credits can enroll in research-based lab courses their first semester. Working closely with departmental faculty, students in these courses address questions or problems of interest to the scientific community. Topics of these research courses vary (e.g., microbiology, genomics, physiology, urban ecology) by semester depending on faculty expertise, but rely on a comparable framework of evidence-based teaching and mentorship practices in support of facilitating students' transition and enculturation as new departmental members.

Students with questions about our classroom-based research experiences are encouraged to contact Dr. Joseph Harsh.

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