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FAQs (last updated November 18, 2009)

Q: Is Development and Evolution upper-division?
A: Yes! Students who do consistently high-quality work will receive up to 32 upper-division science credits, likely in developmental biology, evolutionary biology, vertebrate zoology, vertebrate anatomy and molecular techniques.
Q: How will you be assessing student work in this program?
A: We will be evaluating your work (your rigor, intellectual curiosity, and comprehension) in several ways. While this is not a final list, these are likely to include:
  • Take-home essay quizzes (vertebrate zoology)
  • In-class exams (development)
  • Several sets of study questions, to be completed before class, for discussion on Mondays
  • Anatomy lab: two practicals, plus weekly dissection skills and participation
  • Separate assessment of molecular lab techniques
  • Student research and lectures on assigned system in anatomy or physiology (teams of two students)--Spring quarter
  • Possible research papers based on literature review in Winter
  • Independent laboratory or field based research in Spring quarter, which uses some of the method or theory from earlier parts of the program
Q: I'm interested in the program, but don't believe in dissecting animals. Can I opt out of the anatomy lab?
A: No. The anatomy lab will be an integral part of the program--you need to be prepared to take the full 16 credits in Winter quarter, or find an alternate program. The cats that we will be dissecting were euthanized by Humane Societies across the U.S., then collected by biological supply companies for use in classroom settings. They were not killed for use in the lab. The sharks that we will be dissecting were killed for use in the lab, however. Dissection of organisms is the best way to fully understand the diversity between both individuals and species, and having respect for the organisms that we dissect is imperative in an anatomy lab. If, despite these considerations, you are unwilling to participate in dissections for six weeks of the quarter, you should look for another program.
Q: Will there be any field component of the program?
A: There will likely be a five day field trip at the end of Spring quarter. In addition, research projects in Spring quarter may be field-based.
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