Professor of Biology, Chair of Biology Department
Washburn University of Topeka
Topeka, KS 66621 USA
v: (913) 231-1010 x1768
f: (913) 231-1089
Innovative or improved ways of doing things
The Department of Biology uses the Internet as a reference source for information in a variety of classes, a reference for students doing research or laboratory write- ups, grant information and for software which can be used in our classes. We have a ten member department and the Internet provides information about environmental issues (Biosphere-L, Econet), ecology (Ecol-L), molecular biology (GenBank, Molecular Databases) and genetics (Flybase); much of this is through IUBio. The faculty uses these sources to amplify the information given to the students. In my environmental class, I download pertinent files and make them available to students. I also show students how to access various environmental electronic sources in the hopes that some of them will continue to use them. I particularly emphasize their value for those students going into educational careers.
Students in my genetics classes are shown how to access the Internet Databases. The students keep computerized laboratory notebooks detailing their experiments. Access to these databases allows them immediate access to current information with which to interpret their data and the ability to retrieve selective information for their reports. Other instructors are beginning to use the Internet for similar purposes. We have several students doing undergraduate research projects with faculty. This department believes in research as an educational tool. These students are being shown the tremendous resources available through the Internet. It is hoped that by the time they graduate, they will become familiar and comfortable with using this electronic medium to enhance their science education and eventually scientific careers.
Several of our faculty members use the Internet to access NSF and NIH grant proposals, both for their own use and to keep track of research in their fields. Also several members download computer software programs which are made available to others. These are being used as teaching tools in our classes and also for individual research programs. In the former category are programs for our genetics, anatomy and physiology classes. In the latter category are programs for DNA sequencing and Pedigree analysis.