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Video Lectures on Biodiversity
In three video lectures available from Columbia University’s Frontiers of Science Online (FoSO) website, developed by HHMI Professor Darcy Kelley, biologist Don Melnick explains why the loss of biodiversity is occurring, why its loss matters, and what people can do to fix the problem. In the first talk, he identifies ecological problems that are occurring on a global scale and discusses the basic science behind these problems at three different scales: gene, species, and ecosystem. In his second lecture, Professor Melnick introduces the theory and models that help explain the consequences of biodiversity loss. In his last talk, he gives examples of ecological restoration at the scale of genes, species, and ecosystems and discusses the important role that experiments and large-scale studies play in understanding complex systems. Lecture transcripts and companion presentations are also available on FoSO, together with instructor guides, activities, case studies, and other resources for faculty. FoSO is a free resource for college science teachers who seek to access and share materials and approaches to undergraduate science instruction. The teaching materials on this site were generated for use in Columbia University’s innovative core course, Frontiers of Science. Registration is required to access most of the materials.
HHMI Professor: Darcy B. Kelley, Ph.D.
Award Years: 2002, 2006
Summary: Darcy B. Kelley, Ph.D., is an HHMI professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University who studies the neurobiology of social communication. Her HHMI-funded initiatives include:
- The development of Frontiers in Science, a multidisciplinary course required for all first-year students at Columbia College. The lectures cover some of the great ideas of science, such as dark matter, the origins of the universe and of life, evolution, the workings of the brain, and the biome;
- The implementation of a new Web resource, Frontiers of Science Online, to disseminate course materials and to foster a supportive peer community among educators by enabling them to share new teaching approaches and materials directly with one another;
- The creation of a course that uses case studies to teach premedical students about designing, analyzing, and interpreting clinical research; and
- A research program in Dr. Kelley’s laboratory in which students use clawed frogs (Xenopus) to study gene expression in the vocal system.