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Interdisciplinary undergraduate education: Bio2010, curriculum reform and why ecologists should pay attention. Louis J. Gross Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Mathematics University of Tennessee. Bio2010:Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists.
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Louis J. Gross
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Mathematics
University of Tennessee
The perception that biomedicine is the only modern and important area in biology
The loss of organismal and environmental courses, of faculty expertise in these areas, and of opportunities for students to become organismal or environmental biologists.”Bio2010: Unintended Consequences? Elaine Hoagland. BioScience 54: 381 -2. May 2004
“Is there evidence that Bio2010 is causing a decline in environmental and whole-organism biology?”
In an informal survey conducted (by Elaine Hoagland) of members of the Council on Undergraduate Research, 14 out of 56 respondents stated that there had been a relative increase in biomedical to environmental offerings. There were 169 respondents in total - many did not answer this question.
Undergraduate Education to Prepare Biomedical Research Scientists to:
Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists
Perceived emphasis in Bio2010 sample curricula on cell/molecular courses over ecology/organismal biology
NIH moving from its long-standing educational role (supporting traineeships/minority research experiences) to encouraging undergraduate curricular reformHow did this concern arise?
Relegate ecology and evolution to applied schools of forestry and agriculture!
Encourage exposure to a variety of sub-fields for all biology students!
Is the perception of Bio2010 as anti-ecology accurate?
I encourage you to read it carefully and come to your own conclusion.
Wendy Klatkin and Gayle Reznik, SUNY StonyBrook Reinvention Center (Draft report - June 2004)
This formally surveyed directors of undergraduate biology and carried out in-depth interviews with faculty from biology and quantitative departments at 68 of the 123 Carnegie Foundation listed research universities. There is no mention at all in the report of concerns about the biomedical/organismal dicotomy that Hoagland emphasizes in her BioScience article.
not enough time!
Our cell/molecular colleagues really need us to:
In developing future researchers, particularly in biology, the implication of Bio2010 is that breadth of exposure to concepts from various fields should take precedence over depth. So it is past time to initiate a "back to quarters movement". At the least, discussion of such an option encourages our colleagues to acknowledge the importance of interdisciplinarity.
To encourage this even further, we might urge our institutions to place tenure at the College or University level, rather than in a Department, potentially easing the acceptance of colleagues who don't quite fit the mold of a single discipline, yet are the best educators for a future generation of researchers.