Living Systems: Lab and Field class

Nature Lab Biological Programs Designer Jennifer Bissonnette co-taught the Living Systems: Lab and Field class with RISD's part-time faculty Dr. Lucy Spelman. In this course students learned the field and laboratory skills needed to study living systems and the ways humans impact them at both a micro and macro level.

Using the Nature Lab as the base of operations, and the flora and fauna of Rhode Island as an example, students conducted biodiversity transects and tested water quality, explored genetics and development in amphibians and compared and contrasted data from natural and urban environments as well as enginereed ecosytems.

Scientific disciplines and techniques covered in the course include chemistry, cell biology, microscopy, specimen collection, zoology, botany, ecology, and GIS mapping.

The video below shows a two day old zebra fish embryo, still in its egg, rolling around its yolk sac. The Zebra Fish were mated with recessive allele bearing Casper Fish, for the class on genetics. Pigment cells began to appear in the next stage of development.

Angela Munoz presenting in final crit.
Students brought their RISD sense of fun to projects like these organism-shaped soaps.
Luci Jockel presenting her final project in the wet lab.

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