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Course Participation

The Flying with Swallows (FWS) project at Moreno Valley College (MVC) is conducted along two lines of inquiry: Ecosystem Survey and Ecosystem Investigation. Biology and chemistry courses taught by Joanna Werner-Fraczek, Ph.D., Professor of Biology and Diane Marsh, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Chemistry conducted research upon these two lines of inquiry according to curricular requirements and proposed student learning outcomes.

 

Course Participation and Activities

Ecosystem Survey

BIO-12/61 (spring) and BIO-1 (summer)

  1. Self-directed learning: observations to monitor the swallow population at the assigned location; data input on ArcGIS map; sample collection (feathers, droppings, fallen nests) from the assigned area.
  2. Team-based learning: camera trapping to monitor fauna in the MVC area; data input on ArcGIS map; periodic insect and other fauna related sample collection.
  3. Student driven problem-based approach – analysis of swallow population in relation to the weather and air pollution index; develop and modify protocols for data collection and area assignments; write research proposal for future project developments.

BIO-12/61 (fall)

  1. Self-directed learning: nest collection at the assigned location; observations on the nests infestation; update ArcGIS map.
  2. Team-based learning: camera trapping to monitor fauna in the MVC area; data input on ArcGIS map; periodic insect and other fauna related sample collection.
  3. Student driven problem-based approach – comparative analysis of swallows and other fauna populations at MVC over the years; write research proposal for future project.
Ecosystem Investigation

BIO-11/60 (spring/fall) and BIO-11H/60H (spring)

  1. Self-directed learning: DNA barcoding/metabarcoding to identify insects and other encountered species; build college data base using bioinformatic tools (BLAST, BOLD engines).
  2. Team-based learning: sample processing for pollution analysis in organic sample in collaboration with Chemistry students.
  3. Student driven problem-based approach – analysis of pollution and their effects on organisms on a molecular level; write research proposal for future project developments.

CHE-1A and 1AH

  1. Self-directed and team-based learning: analysis of local water and soil samples
  2. Student driven problem-based approach – developing methodology for chlorine and nitrate analysis in insects and bird droppings

CHE-1B and 1BH

  1. Self-directed and team-based learning: electrochemical analysis of ion concentration in local water and soil samples
  2. Student driven problem-based approach – developing methodology for heavy metal assessment such as mercury in insects and bird droppings.

 

General Student Learning Outcomes

  • Experimental skills; independent responsibility; intrinsic motivation.
  • Collaborative and communication skills; respect for others
  • Problem-solving skills including critical thinking; application of knowledge to formulate questions and hypotheses for research; critically evaluate scientific papers