Students have been working to finish the new curriculum for Bio 152.
The new curriculum requires students to create their own lab to work on throughout the semester rather than doing a pre-set weekly lab where the outcome is known by the professor.
Freshmen Erin Capper said throughout the semester, each group has been watching their copepods react to their different tests and recordingtheir findings.
“You can do a variety of different factors,” Capper said. “For my specific group we tested combined stressors such as salinity and temperature affect the survival rate of copepods.”
Capper and her lab group set up different trials and chose varying levels of salinity and temperature every week.
They would then record the survival rate and now they are working to put their data into a report for their final.
Kenzie Behney and Kelly Worm-Beneke are two other students enrolled in the Bio 152 course but have a different professor than Capper and her lab group.
Behney said while there were many breaks this semester, her group was still required to find ways to feed their copepods and keep the other variables the consistent despite the fact that the group wasn’t on campus.
“Our professor was pretty good at helping my group out. None of us were from Iowa so when we went home for breaks Professor STP (Stephanie Toering-Peters) would feed the copepods for us,” Behney said. “We had to leave her detailed instructions about how many microliters of algae they needed on which days.”
Worm-Beneke was not so lucky, however. Her group had to find a way to adjust how they would feed their copepods over the breaks.
“We would often have someone who lived close by come back to campus to check on our copepods and feed them,” Worm-Beneke said.
Beheny also said students were required to give weekly lab updates in front of the entire class.
This was done in order to show a recap of what was done by their group and what the lab group planned to do in the future.
Throughout the semester Capper believes that her and her group have had a successful experiment.
“We got some interesting results on how the different temperatures affect the survival of the copepods but just like with any research there are things that you don’t always know to consider,” Capper said. “For us the salinity levels we selected didn’t have a significant enough range between them so that really didn’t make an impact on the survival rate.”
Worm-Beneke believes her group had plenty of success this semester. She said this is one lab she thoroughly enjoyed working on.
Worm-Beneke said she felt very invested in this experiment because she was collecting her own data and this can even help prepare her for her RICE day experiment when she’s a senior.
“It may not be a huge or super important research to some people but it’s a great way to get started,” Worm-Beneke said. “It’s something easy and helps ease us into something that will eventually be much bigger.”