Investigating Issues in the Laboratory: The Behavior of Red Swamp Crayfish as an Invasive Species Public Deposited

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  • Recent reform initiatives in undergraduate biology call for curricula that prepare students for dealing with real-world issues and making important links between science and society. In response to this call, we have developed an issues-based laboratory module that uses guided inquiry to integrate the concepts of animal behavior and population biology into an issue of both local and global relevance. The issue associated with this module is “What should be done about invasive crayfish?” Students investigate plausible reasons why crayfish are often successful invasive species through hypothesis testing, collection of behavioral data on live crayfish, and quantitative reasoning. Students also consider economic and environmental impacts of invasive species on local and global ecosystems. We implemented this module in a large introductory biology course and conducted survey research to evaluate the module’s potential to serve as an interesting and valuable learning experience for undergraduate biology students.
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  • Hewitt, K. M., Kayes, L. J., Hubert, D., & Chouinard, A. (2014). Investigating Issues in the Laboratory: The Behavior of Red Swamp Crayfish as an Invasive Species. American Biology Teacher, 76(9), 609-614. doi:10.1525/abt.2014.76.9.7
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  • 76
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  • 9
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  • This project was partially funded by National Science Foundation RCN-UBE grant no. 1248121.
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