Friday, May 24, 2013

DNA Barcoding for Undergrads

a guest post by Ralph Imondi

A statewide alliance of California colleges will enlist the participation of undergraduate students in building the global DNA barcode library

Ventura-based Coastal Marine Biolabs (CMB) recently partnered with California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI; Camarillo, CA) and the North Valley Biotechnology Center of American River College (NVBC; Sacramento, CA) to assemble a consortium of 10 California colleges that will adopt DNA barcoding as an embedded research component of undergraduate biology courses. 

This new effort represents an undergraduate extension of the NSF-funded Barcoding Life’sMatrix program – a research education project that engages a national network of high schools in building the DNA Barcode reference library.  Although the project was originally established by CMB as a discovery science-based model to enhance teaching and learning in high school settings, it has attracted widespread interest from college faculty who seek new opportunities to bridge research and undergraduate science education through student participation in iBOL. The assembly and submission of validated reference barcode records by undergraduates will be aided by BOLD-SDP, the customized student interface to the Barcode of Life Data Systems that was formally launched in spring 2013

Beginning in fall 2013, faculty from Mira Costa College (San Diego), Orange Coast College (Costa Mesa), Mt. San Jacinto College (Menifee), Fullerton College (Fullerton), Los Angeles Valley College (Valley Glen), Southwest College of Los Angeles (Los Angeles), Oxnard College (Oxnard), Ventura College (Ventura), Santa Barbara CityCollege (Santa Barbara), and Ohlone College (Fremont) will integrate the barcoding project into various upper- and lower-level biology courses.  

This pilot effort is supported by the U.S. Department of Education, and by a CA state grant. 

grant details: [Achieving a Collaborative College Education through STEM Opportunities (Project ACCESO), Title V, Hispanic-Serving Institutions STEM Grant] to CSUCI, and [California Community Colleges Economic and Workforce Development: Applied Biotechnologies (12-317-038)] to NVBC. 

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