Cornerstone: The Secret Lives of Snails
Biol 2970.023, 3 credits

As indicated by the title, this Cornerstone centers on the biology of land snails, which are surprisingly common in and around Norman. In the course, you’ll start by learning about snails and some of the techniques and possibilities for research – all using a hands-on approach. Students will self-divide around topics of interest and each team will devise a research project within their topic. Most of the course will be spend doing research, with scattered snippets of research tools and skills thrown in (for examples: what is scientific literature? and how to find and use it, ethics in research, and how to go from raw data to results). At the end of the course, we’ll have a mini-research day, with teams presenting their research to the rest of the class.

This is a terrific Cornerstone section for trying out field work – or you can be cool with a lab study. (Note: the course is timed to avoid the heat of the summer.)

Instructor bio

Dr. Liz Bergey is field conservation biologist who has a joint appointment between Biology and the Oklahoma Biological Survey. After years of working in aquatic ecology, she has recently added land snails to her research repertoire. With snails came undergraduate researchers, and Dr. Bergey normally hosts 3 to 6 undergraduate researchers in her lab each semester. In 2013, she was awarded the first ever Faculty Research Mentor Award for her work with undergraduates. Dr. Bergey teaches Biology of Invertebrates and a Senior Seminar (Capstone) course on conservation biology.

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