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Abstract Detail

Teaching Section

Ickert-Bond, Stefanie M. [1], Cicero, Carla C.  [2], Cook, Joseph A. [3], Edwards, Scott V. [4], Lacey, Eileen A. [2].

AIM-UP! A research coordinating network to increase the use of museum collections in undergraduate education.

Natural history collections provide invaluable resources for numerous aspects of undergraduate education, including instruction in evolution, biodiversity, and conservation. The value of these resources as educational tools, however, is often poorly understood, even at colleges and universities that maintain such collections. AIM-UP! is an NSF-funded Research Coordination Network (RCN) developed to increase awareness of natural history collections as critical resources for undergraduate instruction. Specific goals of the network include (1) training undergraduates in museum-based research, (2) developing instructional tools based on freely-accessible online museum databases, (3) informing educators at non-museum institutions regarding the instructional power of museum collections, and (4) interacting with the public to increase awareness of the educational importance of natural history museums. Each year of the initial 5-year project will emphasize a different conceptual theme: during our first year, the network has focused on developing integrated strategies for collecting and analyzing data from multiple taxonomic groups, each of which has distinct research and curatorial traditions. Starting with a seminar on this theme held at UNM (and attended electronically by network participants from other institutions), the network has developed an initial set of educational modules that draw upon the publicly-accessible ARCTOS database to provide students with hypothesis-driven, inquiry-based learning opportunities rooted in natural history collections data. Educators from all institutions- those with museums and those without- are encouraged to visit our website ( and to consider participating in the network.

Broader Impacts:

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Related Links:
AIM-UP! Research Coordination Network: Advancing Integration of Museums into Undergraduate Programs

1 - University of Alaska, UA Museum of the North Herbarium & Dept. of Biology and Wildlife, 907 Yukon Dr., Fairbanks, Alaska, 99775, USA
2 - Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California Berkeley, Department of Integrative Biology, 3101 Valley Life Sciences Building, Berkeley, CA, 94820, USA
3 - Museum of Southwestern Biology, University of New Mexico, Department of Biology, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87131-0001, USA
4 - Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Cambridge, MA, 02138 , USA

undergraduate education
natural history collections
instructional tools

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Khorassan Ballroom/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Monday, July 11th, 2011
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PTE006
Abstract ID:386

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