This hybrid research-immersion course utilizes marine invertebrates (abalone, purple sea urchins, bay mussels), vertebrates (salt-tolerant fish – Japanese medaka, zebrafish), insects – fruit flies, and nematode – worms – to genetically barcode (sequence) the mitochondrial cytochrome C-oxidase and perform a phylogenetics analysis. Students will learn evolutionary and molecular biology concepts, extract DNA from multiple species and PCR-amplify a genetic marker to analyze mutation rates, sequence relatedness/speciation, and comparative sequencing analysis of a metabolic gene critical for adaptive metabolic mechanisms. The course content is a mix of evolutionary biology theory and modeling, standard and advanced molecular biology techniques, and bioinformatics analysis. Part of the course complements the ongoing research project in partnership with National Park Service, which utilizes environmental DNA (eDNA) methodology to better understand the adaptive mechanisms and responses to environmental stressors of Southern California endangered black abalone population. During the 11-weeks hybrid course meting twice weekly, students will perform research in-person once per week, and meet virtually to discuss concepts and primary scientific literature, design experiment, analyze the data, etc. once per week. The course will conclude with the science seminar during which students will present their research in-person to a selected audience.
Course is available for 4 pre-college units.
Course Delivery: Hybrid
Grade Level: Students must currently be in 10th–12th grade
- 11-week program, September 27 – December 9, 2021
- Choose from one of two sessions
- Mon (virtual) and Wed (in person lab day), 4:00 – 6:00 PM PST
- Tue (virtual) and Thu (in person lab day), 4:00-6:00 PM PST
- Synchronous online teaching a week
- 4 hours of work required outside of online lecture/lab a week
Scholarship Opportunities: Limited number available
To be notified of future sessions programming: email firstname.lastname@example.org