Undergraduate Education Program

California State University, Sacramento

Thomas Landerholm
Sacramento, CA
December 2014

The department of biological sciences at California State University, Sacramento proposes to engage nearly 2,000 undergraduate students annually in authentic scientific research by embedding research experiences in course laboratories.  The Sustainable Interdisciplinary Research to Inspire Undergraduate Success (SIRIUS) Project will develop, integrate and link research-based curriculum across twelve existing laboratory courses.  Utilizing inquiry-based pedagogy with state-of-the-art technology, students will research a real-world problem that is relevant to the region: the human impacts on northern California’s American River ecosystem.  To enhance the interdisciplinary nature of their experiences, students will gather, analyze and share data across courses as diverse as ecology, genetics, and cell biology.  This learning and research experience will support a high-quality, well-rounded college education for the 21st Century scientific workforce.  This model is replicable across disciplines and to other geographic regions with their own scientific challenges.  The SIRIUS Project leverages funding from multiple sources and the current proposal will provide communication technology and research equipment to be utilized in re-designed laboratories.  It will also support developing a strategy for assessing student learning and attitudes for the new activities.

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