(June 5, 2014)

Centenary faculty selected to present workshop at conference

SHREVEPORT, LA — Three Centenary faculty members were selected to deliver a mini workshop at the 36th annual Association for Biology Laboratory Education (ABLE) conference held at the University of Oregon from June 17-20. Dr. Scott Chirhart, Chair of Biology; Dr. Juan Rodriquez, Keen Chair of Physics; and former Centenary Professor Dr. Greg Butcher, Associate Professor of Neuroscience, will present their interdisciplinary project Modeling Diffusion.

Dr. Scott Chirhart
Dr. Scott Chirhart

"Our workshop will include pedagogical material Dr. Butcher, Dr. Rodriquez, and I developed over the past year as part of an interdisciplinary effort to increase mathematical modeling in the Centenary biology curriculum," said Chirhart. "This has been a unique opportunity for us to work collaboratively and produce new material that will benefit our students and others across the nation."

Their project was inspired by a 2009 document released by the National Science Foundation, Vision and Change: A Call to Action that promoted the idea of students understanding "the process of science, the interdisciplinary nature of the new biology, and how science is closely integrated within society." The document also suggested students should be competent in communication, collaboration, quantitate competency, and a basic ability to understand and interpret data.

Each conference brings together nearly 140 participants from university and college biology departments throughout Canada and the United States. For three full days, the participants are actively involved in workshops. The results of these workshops are published in ABLE's conference proceedings, Tested Studies for Laboratory Teaching.

ABLE was founded in 1979 to promote information exchange among university and college educators actively concerned with teaching biology in a laboratory setting. ABLE's focus is to improve the undergraduate biology laboratory experience by promoting the development and dissemination of interesting, innovative, and reliable laboratory exercises.

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