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Minutes of the 10/20/2021 (2nd meeting of the Fall 2021 semester) of the FIG Undergraduate Research as a High Impact Practice at KCC

Present:  Grace Axler-DiPerte (KCC BIO), Christina Colon (KCC BIO), Craig Hinkley (KCC BIO),

   Lilja Nielsen (KCC BIO), Mary Ortiz (KCC BIO), Kristin Polizzotto (KCC BIO),

   Robert Schenck (KCC PHYS SCI)

Meeting began at 11:30am.

  1. Mary welcomed everyone and thanked them for coming.
  2. Mary thanked Christina for the iNaturalist website because it came in handy on a recent hike upstate.
  3. Christina shared how she has her students do a Botany Treasure Hunt using iNaturalist. They can go to their kitchen, grocery store and ID anything plant.
  4. Christina shared she has her class do a research project on predator/prey with a chipmunk study. The students even do correlation analysis.  The students import their data from iNaturalist to Excel to do the correlation.
  5. Mary shared an article from the S.I Advance on a water quality testing project students at Farrell High School have been doing since May 2021. They are also working with the BOP (Billion Oyster Project).  The students are using MPN (Most Probable Number).
  6. Christina shared there are water quality data at the NYC Open Data website. The site is:


Robert shared that Tom Green of the Phys Sci Dept is also studying water quality with students.  He has Go Pro in his lab to record field work.

  1. Mary and Craig shared MACUB needs judges for the virtual conference on 10/30/2021. This was discussed.
  2. Craig and Christina went to the NYSMEA event at Kaiser Park. There were many high schools and the BOP there.  A submersible demo was also there.  Discussion occurred.  The event should be held again next year.  It would be good for the Marine Bio  and other classes.  You can have students present their research here at ease because it is not judged.  When they are at a conference they are less at ease.  Next year the Kaiser Park event will be better.  There was seining at this event.  It is a good event for students.  Maybe this can be combined with the aquarium.
  3. Christina shared she is planning field trips for the BIO5300 Ecology class next year. The NY Aquarium is free on some afternoons in the off-season, but the lines can be long.
  4. We discussed the AMNH. It is free with student ID and free after 4pm.  But, you must book in advance via the app.  But, the app has you pay what they suggest.  Christina shared the planetarium entrance is sometimes less crowded.
  5. Christina shared a project she is having her students do at the MET. She has them study paintings with body parts from extinct animals (narwhales, amber, etc.) in connection with conservation.
  6. We discussed the Prospect Park Zoo is free on Wed afternoons, as is the Staten Island Zoo, which houses the largest snake collection in the world.
  7. Christina shared using art as research using iNaturalist with paintings.
  8. Grace shared the AMNH and MET have interactive collections and online exhibits.
  9. Craig shared sending photos of butterfly wings to collectors for them to identify the butterfly.
  10. Christina shared that you can do this with animals, fur, leaves, etc. on iNaturalist and link to geography, season or year.
  11. Grace mentioned the Lantern Fly invasion on Staten Island.
  12. Kris mentioned zoos have creature cams. Christina shared a website from Chicago with zoo cams:


There are similar cams for zoos in Berlin and Australia.  Some cams give 12 hours of viewing.

  1. We discussed class projects for the Spring 2022 semester. Grace hopes to use the KCC urban Farm for Rhizobium for BIO5000 – General Microbiology.
  2. We discussed how to work without the students using microscopes in the teaching labs in Spring 2022. Grace mentioned disposable microscope covers, using shower caps, saran wrap, etc.  No cell phone use to take photos in the micro labs.  There was discussion of microscope use in the spring.  Grace mentioned Leica has resources on how to keep microscopes safe for use.  She will send us info.  Craig shared the BIO1300 Gen Bio 1 students will not be using microscopes in the spring, but the microscope in the front of the lab can be sued to show things on the screen for the class.
  3. We discussed cameras in the HyFlex classroom. We also briefly discussed Hybrid vs. HyFlex classes.
  4. Christina mentioned the event, Submerge, for next year. It is an all-day event in Manhattan (it is the Kaiser Park event on steroids).
  5. Next meeting: Wed, 11/17/2021, at 11:30am via Zoom. Mary will send out Zoom info for the meeting and the minutes from this meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 12:20pm.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Mary Theresa Ortiz


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