New NSF-TUES program course in Chemical Ecology
We’ve recently completed our second year of an experimental problem-based learning course in Chemical Ecology with a class of 24 upper-level chemistry and biology students at Dickinson. The course encourages students with diverse interests to work together to solve complex problems involving the extraction and identification of natural products – such as toxins, attractants, and other chemical cues – and to explore their roles in nature. The course includes intensive training on analytical instruments such as spectrophotometers, HPLC and GC-MS. The development of this course is funded by an award from the NSF-TUES program. Our preliminary assessment of the program’s progress will be detailed in an upcoming ACS article: Witter A, Arnold T (2013) Nature’s Medicine Cabinet: An Interdisciplinary Course Designed To Enhance Student Learning by Investigating the Ecological Roles of Natural Products.