Fox Lab:Undergrad Research Syllabus

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Revision as of 21:01, 28 February 2009


Students working in the lab do several different kinds of things. Some are acting mainly as field assistants; others are conducting their own studies. Both are quite valuable to the lab. But obviously, different things are expected of those playing different roles.

Contents

Requirements:

  • Registering for this course requires that you have a 3.0 GPA, by policy of the Biology Department.
  • You can register for up to 4 credit hrs/semester; the number depends on what we agree on. 4 hrs of work per week is expected per credit hr.
  • Regular participation in weekly lab meetings is expected; these last about an hour and this time is included in the total amount of work expected. We will try to schedule lab meetings so that everyone can attend. In some cases I will excuse you from attending.
  • At the end of the semester you will submit a written report on your work. You can discuss the details with me. I may also ask that you turn in a lab notebook or maintain one on lab software.
  • For field projects, we may require that you turn in a weekly or fortnightly time sheet to document the time you devote to the work.
  • We may decide that you and I should meet regularly, to make sure that you get everything you should get out of the experience.
  • In each case, I will ask you to write down the terms we agree to, and you and I will both sign copies. I will not turn in a passing grade if you do not adhere to the agreement.


Other expectations:

  • Equipment care: be responsible with all lab equipment. Accidents can happen to anyone, but equipment abuse is a reason for failing the course and being asked to leave the lab.
  • Treat the environments in which we work and the organisms with which we work with respect. Not doing so is a reason for failing the course and being asked to leave the lab.
  • Data should be entered into the appropriate computer program as soon as possible after they are collected! I would rather have you spend fewer hours gathering data, and keep up with data entry. The data are not useful or meaningful if they are not in the computer.
  • Keep a notebook on your work. Record what you've done, techniques learned, and observations made. Besides being useful to you, it will document your work.
  • All data records should have a date and your name attached to them. That way we know who to ask about any problems that arise.
  • You are welcome to study in the lab, so long as it doesn't interfere with anyone working.


Computer issues:

  • To login to the lab computers, you will need a login account from CAS computing. To get one, you will need me to initiate paperwork with the department office. It is your responsibility to ask me to do this, and your responsibility to follow through to make sure you have computer access.
  • Please logoff the computers when leaving the room for more than a couple of minutes. If you don't do so, others will be unable to use the machines.
  • The computers are research machines. Do not store personal files on them or attempt to install software.


Developing your interests:

A number of students working in the lab have developed independent research projects. I encourage this, but I do not expect it. Feel free to talk with me about ideas you have, or things you have observed that are interesting to you.

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