Ad Hoc FISH 311
FISH 311 Ad Hoc
Collaboration with the Burke Museum Ichthyology Collection and FISH311
What is the standard coursework for this class? Include details about assignments, projects, and activities.
The standard coursework for this class involves regularly occurring and pre-determined assignments/assessments that range from tri-weekly to weekly in frequency. The regularly scheduled assignments include readings (which are to be completed before each lecture three times a week), summary sheets almost every week that consist of an abbreviated graphic/textual summary of course content covered, some weekly canvas quizzes reviewing content learned within the week, and labs. During scheduled lecture time, students work through collaborative group-work problems based on the day's given subject or topic, allowing for discussion-based learning to clear up any uncertainties on the content in real time. As for assessments and projects, there are two primary assessment opportunities consisting of a short-answer midterm in week 5, and a short-answer final at the conclusion of the quarter.
Outline your proposed ad hoc Honors Project, be sure to include the main topic, focus, and goal of the project. Please also include details about the deliverable of your project (i.e., if a video, how long will it be? If reviewing resources, how many minimum? how will you find them? etc.)
My Ad Hoc project has three components: video, accompanying reading, and collaborative assignment, all highlighting the subject of how fish hear via various "deep dives" and case study presentations. Below are the details about each component and their roles in the project as a whole.
VIDEO: After a brief overview of the basics of fish hearing anatomy, I will present species that have unique anatomical features related to their hearing, and provide some commentary on these anomalies I've run into during my research for this project. The video will be around 12-15 minutes long. Since research is a necessity for the scripting and production of the video and animation/diagram elements, I've already garnered a library of 10+ scientific articles and 20+ general resources on my own and from the introductory fish hearing content presented in this course. I anticipate gathering many more as scripting continues and corrections are made.
READING: This project will include my own version of an abridged/summarized study I found on the Melamphaidae family of fishes. This family of deep-water fishes has a vastly different lifestyles to the pelagic/shallow-dwelling species covered in my general overview of hearing anatomy basics, so that niche difference makes them a great option for the accompanying text (will also eventually tie into the collaborative assignment).
COLLABORATIVE ASSIGNMENT: In the description of the video or Canvas module, there will be a google document AND PDF format of the additional collaborative assignment designed around the images and figures from this study of the Melamphaidae. The assignment is meant to take up 35 minutes of collaborative groupwork time during lecture. The assignment will encourage students to draw conclusions and make predictions on Melamphaidae life history based off of the figures from the study provided in the additional reading, overall, around 5 short answer or sketching questions.
Discuss your motivations for pursuing this ad hoc project.
What do you hope to gain from completion of this project?
While it's simple to say that I am as much of a fish nerd as I am an adventure-seeking student, my motivations to do this ad hoc project project surround my love for combining the fish-nerd side of me with the wannabe science communicator in me, AND my special untouched interest of how the senses familiar to humans translate across other organisms. I heard about Luke Tornabene and FISH 311 through my instructor Melissa Frey from the HONORS 397 Burke course about 21st Century Natural History Museums last winter quarter AND from my Marine Biology advisor. Since learning about the course, I knew it was the perfect place and "safe-space" for me to do something that would not only help me with course material, but also allow my creative side to thrive through a sci-comm Ad Hoc project about a subject i adore. I grew up watching Nat Geo and Emily Graslie form the Brain Scoop (by the Field Museum in Chicago) and I dreamt to one day become that presenter and nature-lover package. Luke shares the same wonder and curiosity about the subject of fish biology with me, and I hope to sharpen my communication skills and discover how to develop learning materials for folks around my age (undergraduate level and above). I've only had experience teaching material about fish biology to kids much younger than me, so this project gives me the room to explore and practice teaching older and advanced individuals in the subject. While the content level may be slightly more advanced, I hope to keep the comedic, entertaining, and fun side of me alive and well in the development of this project.
How does this additional work connect with the educational goals of the course and/or your professors
area of expertise?
This additional work aligns with the course's educational goal of providing students a chance to to develop predictions using biological and morphological clues within the grand realm of fish biology, specifically targeting the course learning objective stating: "Explain the relative evolutionary trade-offs of different morphologies and life history strategies fishes display, and how this relates to the environments they inhabit". Professor Tornabene's area of expertise focuses on the biodiversity of fishes, taking a special approach by examining the evolutionary relationships that exist in bony fish. With this additional deep dive into the lesser-known sense of hearing for organisms in aquatic environments, this project will allow for yet another layer of dimension for students studying concepts from fish biology.
Outline your project schedule. In your schedule be sure to include your plan for in-person meetings, when each component of your project is due (drafts, revisions, preliminary research), when you are hoping to receive feedback, and other relevant steps.
Tornabene and I have developed a timeline spanning all the way back to BEFORE the Ad Hoc application deadline and Autumn quarter in general to the final submission of the project. Our plan consists of my preliminary and ongoing research, scheduled email check-ins, draft delivery to Tornabene, and in-person meetings where feedback on my project (primarily the video component) may be exchanged and discussed. Here is summary the extensive timeline we have developed:
9/21 - Initial Meeting with Samantha and Luke - Overview of project proposal
9/22-25 - Luke Provides course content on subject whilst Samantha conducts preliminary research outside of course content
9/27-30 - Luke confirms final calendar and provides any additional comments on project deliverable format
10/6 First draft of project due (general script for video, outline of learning materials)
10/7 Luke and Samantha meet to discuss first draft (Feedback Session, aka FS)
10/7 Samantha submits the Ad Hoc Application to Honors
--- We are here!----
IF APPROVED, CONTINUE! Go through revision process 10/12-10/17 if needed)
10/12-10/20 - Production Period 1
10/20 Second draft of project due (Actual video and complete learning material aids)
10/21 Luke and Samantha meet to discuss second draft (FS 2)
10/21-11/3 Production Period 2
11/3 Third draft of project due
11/4 Luke and Samantha meet to discuss third draft (FS 3)
11/4-12/13 Production Period 3 and Post Production
(Another check-in if needed - to be scheduled during the first week of DEC)
12/14 Samantha emails Luke Final Draft
12/15-17 Luke Completes final Ad Hoc evaluation
"Samantha went above and beyond what I imagined an Ad Hoc Honors project would ever be. She created a fabulous informative video and lecture activity that explained how and why fish detect sound underwater. I fully plan on using this activity in future iterations of my Biology of Fishes course. Samantha is a fantastic speaker, educator, video producer, and ichthyologist. I haven't hosted any other Ad Hoc Honors projects, but based on my experience working with Samantha, I look forward to the prospect of doing this again."