From the Desk of the Director: Opening a Can of Bookworms

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 2.28.20 PMWhen was the last time you walked into a library to pick up a book? Do you remember the title of the book? Do you remember how many books you left the library with? In the Wikipedia class that I co-teach with two Mann library staff (Ashley Downs and Kelee Pacion), we asked our students to go and find a book in the library, and use that book as a reference for their biology-related Wikipedia entry. Continue Reading


From the Desk of the Director: Science and Salad

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International Selfie: Four countries were represented at the first dining discussion: USA, Bangladesh, Italy and Hungary.

Developing a personal connection between teachers and students is a challenging task, especially in large college lecture courses. The classroom environment alone does not offer many opportunities for a one-on-one conversation between an instructor and a student, and I have learned that many students miss the teacher-student relationship that they got used to in high school. Continue Reading


Ye Olde Email – Emails and Electronic Etiquette

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 10.26.33 AMThere was a time when scrolls and parchment were sealed with wax, and hand delivered to their recipient. If the person wasn’t there to receive their message, often the sender had to stick around until they showed up. Fortunately we’ve moved past that form of communication as a society, but even with electronic wizardry there are limitations. In order to prevent further communication mishaps, below are listed the acceptable times to email course staff, and the expected response time for emails. Continue Reading


Welcome to Investigative Biology!


Hello and welcome to the central hub for all things related to the Investigative Biology course at Cornell University! Here you can find timely updates about the course, staff, and relevant pedagogy.

Investigative Biology is a course designed to provide underclassmen (Freshman and Sophomore) students with essential laboratory experience, adding emphasis to the concepts and processes of scientific investigation. It provides a learning community to both biology majors and non-majors alike; striving to promote communication, literacy, and peer collaboration within the field of the biological sciences.

The course has moved away from cookie-cutter lab exercises to encourage modern pedagogical techniques, such as inquiry-based labs, active learning and peer instruction, and finally puts the student in the driver’s seat of their own education. Upholding the value of these techniques and ensuring the scientific success of our students is a duty our staff carry out with pride.

Connect to the course through our social media, check our calendar for important dates, and subscribe to our blog to ensure you never miss a thing!

Tentative Spring 2016 Syllabus PDF – Download