Today lets try to see how well we understand the sasquatch paper. What terms are hard to unpack and understand? What methods do we wish we knew better? Use today's discussion as a jumping-off point to find a science study where we try to figure out the distribution of an organism, or the source of something previously unknown!?
Week Seven (Sep 30)
Week Eight (October 7).
This week I will run a demonstration on DNA barcoding using a program called Geneious so we can LOOK at DNA sequence data and what it can tell us about a species. For your reading and response, please look at
and ponder how DNA barcoding would help resolve these relatively simple mysteries!
Week Nine (October 14)
Today Dr. Bud Freeman from the Georgia Museum of Natural History will be our guest (or we may be his guest!) to talk about how DNA barcoding is used even in the absence of large hairy hominid mythical beasts....
Your reading/response for TWO WEEKS FROM NOW is this paper from PNAS:
and if you want to know more about the Joro spider, you can also read this
paper by Dr. Freeman and his colleagues.
Note that this is our most "serious" reading to date, so take your time and feel free to send me questions by email if you get stuck.
Week Nine (October 21) NO CLASS TODAY
This week Dr. Wares will be entirely wrapped up in PhD defenses by his two doctoral students. If you are interested, on October 21 Katie Bockrath will be defending at 11am in room B118 Life Sciences, talking about freshwater mussels and the obligate parasitic development stage they go through to mature, how this reflects fish diversity, and so on. Sort of tiny monsters....
Week Ten (October 28)
Finally, we are going to tackle zombies! Just in time for Halloween, of course. Nothing much you need to do to prepare for today.... except maybe have some brains for breakfast... no actually we will wrap up any questions you may have about the Hebert paper that I assigned after our GMNH day, and of course that is what you will have posted to the class website about.
Then we will get started with zombies:
For NEXT week, you should read the attached paper so we can discuss it. Warning: this is a hard paper. Some of you may feel phobia about math (if not zombies). I don't expect anybody, even myself, to feel competent with some of the math in this paper as it represents not only algebra, but linear algebra, which is probably unfamiliar to most of you. Our goal is to talk about why they used this approach to understand, uh, zombies.
After you give this paper a good shot, your assigned writing is to discuss how you think 'zombie' happens. That is, are they re-animated dead, or living things made kind of dead, or both? Is it a virus? Is it magic? Are there zombies, really?
Week Eleven (November 4)
Today we are going to talk about the theory paper we read, and how it applies to our real world. This may end up being your reminder to get a flu shot...
Week Twelve (November 11)
Caterpillars, salmon, ants, ... more to come.
Today we will look at examples of 'zombies' in nature, and discuss whether we think these qualify as zombies, as reported by the scientists and writers, or are they simply trying to exploit our fascination with monsters?
For next week, your last writing assignment, and I'd like it to be longer than usual - a 1-page report, either on the blog, on the wiki, or by paper (Caroline!), WITH AT LEAST ONE REFERENCE FROM A SCIENCE ARTICLE. Your question is:
"What does 'monster' mean to you? Do you believe there are monsters in real life, and what form do they take? What does it require to prove to others they exist, or to prove to yourself that they do not?"
We will discuss these in class next week!
Last Class! (November 18)
With Thanksgiving break coming after this week, and the pressures of Finals week, I think you will have enough monsters to deal with. Today will just be our wrap-up session.