What disciplines other than engineering have departmental
accreditation at the undergraduate level?


On Sun, May 27, 2012 at 2:47 PM, malcolm McCallum
<malcolm.mccal...@herpconbio.org> wrote:
> The problem with biology education today is that there are:
> 1) no standards for what the major is
> 2) no accreditation governing what a department should comprise
> Europe now has accreditation for the discipline and if the US does not
> follow suit you can watch rapidly as we not only fall behind in
> biology, but basically fall like a rock in stature.
> Too many departments just wing it at the whim of the administrations' folly.
> Accreditation provides the departments with significant support and
> legitimacy in the face of those administrations that generally care a
> lot about money and little about quality or students.
> There are more of those than we care to admit.
> Look, we can't even agree whether biodiversity concepts belong in an
> intro to bio class.
> I find this not only disheartening but also frightening.  Where else
> they going to learn it, English?
> Most schools don't have an EVS course, and many never will.
> Malcolm
> On Sun, May 27, 2012 at 12:09 PM, Bill Hilton Jr. (RESEARCH)
> <resea...@hiltonpond.org> wrote:
>> With sincere respect to all of you in the fields of microbiology, genetics, 
>> and other laboratory-based disciplines of the life sciences, I contend the 
>> "Campbell Essential Biology" approach is exactly what is wrong with biology 
>> education today.
>> Nearly all undergraduate and high school introductory biology courses are 
>> written as if EVERY student is going on to med school, nursing, or a career 
>> in a lab-based science. I agree it's important for an undergrad course to 
>> make mention of cytology, DNA, photosynthesis, etc., but I question the real 
>> value to students of any non-major textbook in which 12 chapters deal with 
>> cell-DNA and ecology, ecosystems, and the biosphere are relegated to the 
>> last three chapters.
>> My guess is that 95% or more of non-majors will never have any really 
>> practical use for information about cell-DNA. It's complicated stuff that 
>> their physicians and pharmacists need to know, but what would be of 
>> infinitely greater value is for everyone to be familiar with basic 
>> principles of ecology, plant-animal interactions, pollination biology, and 
>> the like. Knowing about these things will enable students in general to 
>> understand how humans fit into and affect the world around them, and such 
>> understanding will help them make informed decisions about such things as 
>> overfishing, watersheds and wetlands, use of household pesticides and 
>> fertilizers--to say nothing of current controversial topics like global 
>> climate change, fracking, etc.
>> We all teach what we know, of course, and the vast majority of high school 
>> biology teachers know what they learned in an undergrad biology courses 
>> taught from the "pre-med" perspective. I know from 25-plus years in the 
>> classroom and lab that for kids not going off to med-school the "pre-med" 
>> approach is often a turn-off to science, while a course that emphasizes 
>> ecology, the environment, field work, etc., is a turn-on. I also taught 
>> undergrad biology and know such is the case with many college students.
>> Cheers,
>> On May 27, 2012, at 10:48 AM, Helena Puche wrote:
>>> David,
>>> I used "Campbell Essential Biology" by E.J. Simon, J.B.Reece and J.L. 
>>> Dickey. It is a book for non-biology  majors that has 20 chapters, all of 
>>> them with a focus on evolution and examples, and nice drawings and 
>>> pictures. Twelve of the 20 chapters are geared toward cell-DNA, then three 
>>> chapters on taxonomy and systematics. The last three include populations & 
>>> ecology, communities & ecosystems, and the biosphere. Therefore, you will 
>>> have to add extra material to recreate those last topics.
>>> I created  several evolution labs using beans or the web pages below, 
>>> designed a ppt to introduce Darwin's liand thoughts, and added many lab 
>>> activities to learn about mark-recapture techniques, estimating population 
>>> growth rate & size, population growth models, climate change, and 
>>> identifying biomes.
>>> Evolution links to check are:
>>> http://video.pbs.org/video/1300397304/
>>> http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/0_0_0/devitt_02
>>> I used those as base for the lab activities.
>>> Hope this helps.
>>> Helena
>>> Helena Puche, Ph. D.
>>> Adjunct Assistant Professor
>>> University of Illinois at Chicago
>>> Biological Sciences, 3464 SES, MC
>>> 066
>>> 845 West Taylor Street
>>> Chicago, IL 60607hpu...@uic.edu
>>> --- On Fri, 5/25/12, Johnson, David R <drjohns...@utep.edu> wrote:
>>> From: Johnson, David R <drjohns...@utep.edu>
>>> Subject: [ECOLOG-L] Non-Majors Biology
>>> Date: Friday, May 25, 2012, 2:49 PM
>>> Greetings,
>>> I am teaching a "contemporary biology" course for non-science majors in the 
>>> fall and for the first time I am fortunate to be able to organize the 
>>> course at my discretion. Effectively, I can present any material I wish as 
>>> long as I hit broad themes such as Cell Theory and Evolution. While this is 
>>> certainly doable, I am struggling deciding exactly what content to present. 
>>> The course is meant to present the science of contemporary issues that may 
>>> be important and/or interesting to the non-science student rather than a 
>>> broad survey course encompassing all of biology. There is another such 
>>> survey course with a set syllabus that I am not teaching, and there are two 
>>> other sections of contemporary biology that are focusing on genetics. I 
>>> would like to focus on the many ecological issues that both affect and are 
>>> affected by humans. My struggle involves the fact that this may be the only 
>>> (or last) biology these students get before we cast them out into the world.
>>> So I want to be sure and cover all my bases.
>>> I am writing Ecolog with two questions. First, what is the relative merit 
>>> of including as much biology as possible as opposed to focusing on fewer 
>>> but perhaps more directly relevant ecological topics? These students will 
>>> most likely not become scientists, and certainly won't need to memorize the 
>>> structure of all the amino acids, for example. On the other hand, would I 
>>> be cheating them somehow by not providing enough information to them for 
>>> making informed decisions on topics outside of my direct area of expertise, 
>>> such as developmental biology and stem cells?
>>> The other question I have involves textbooks. Is anyone aware of a text (or 
>>> perhaps pop-science books) designed for the non-science major that focuses 
>>> on ecology, in particular the involvement of humans in ecological systems? 
>>> I haven't been able to find something I like and am looking for 
>>> recommendations.
>>> Thanks and I'll circulate a summary response if/when the discussion runs 
>>> its course.
>>> Cheers,
>>> David
>>> David R. Johnson PhD.
>>> Postdoctoral Research Associate
>>> Systems Ecology Lab
>>> University of Texas at El Paso
>>> drjohns...@utep.edu
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>> ==================
> --
> Malcolm L. McCallum
> Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
> School of Biological Sciences
> University of Missouri at Kansas City
> Managing Editor,
> Herpetological Conservation and Biology
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Jane Shevtsov, Ph.D.
Mathematical Biology Curriculum Writer, UCLA
co-founder, www.worldbeyondborders.org

"In the long run, education intended to produce a molecular
geneticist, a systems ecologist, or an immunologist is inferior, both
for the individual and for society, than that intended to produce a
broadly educated person who has also written a dissertation." --John
Janovy, Jr., "On Becoming a Biologist"

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