2012 Courses

Broader Impacts of Science on Society

ZOO 6927 (section 4100) | GLY 6932 (section 4895)

Wednesdays (location TBD), periods 9 & 10 (4:05 to 6:00 pm), 2 credits

Intended participants

Graduate students from any STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) discipline, including (but not limited to) anthropology, astronomy, botany, entomology, geology, science education, wildlife, and zoology. Instructors and invited speakers.


Bruce J. MacFadden
Curator and Professor 
Florida Museum of Natural History
273-1937, bmacfadd@flmnh.ufl.edu.

David L. Reed
Associate Curator
Florida Museum of Natural History
273-1971, dlreed@ufl.edu

Course Synopsis

There is an increasing emphasis on the relevance of what a scientist does and how we impact society in general. This is manifested in many ways, for example, NSF now requires "Broader Impact" statements in grant proposals and explicit plans for how these kinds of activities will be accomplished. This course will explore ways in which scientists can increase our impact, particularly to society at large. During this seminar-format course, students will engage in active participation and discussion. The beginning of the course will feature presentations by the instructor and invited speakers and preparations for the class project(s). The remainder of the course will primarily be driven by students' interests and individual projects.

No course prerequisites

Class size

Limited to 25 registered students

Readings and assignments

There is no text for this course. Weekly assignments include readings, mostly from the primary literature, web research, and class discussion/presentations. The individual or group project will require "out-of-class" work.

Evaluation (Final Grade)

  1. Class participation (30 %)
  2. Submitting written questions and leading discussions of assigned readings (30 %); and
  3. Development and presentation of either a proposed Broader Impacts plan related to your STEM research, or a group project to be developed during the semester (40 %). No exams.

Island Biogeography and Paleontology

ZOO /GLY 4926 or 6927

Wednesdays, 6:15 to 8:15 pm, 3 credits


David W. Steadman
Curator of Orinthology
Florida Museum of Natural History
273-1968, dws@flmnh.ufl.edu

Course Synopsis

This graduate/undergraduate course focuses in exploring the processes that influence the past & present distributions of organisms, especially vertebrates and vascular plants on islands. We will examine empirical, conceptual, and theoretical information covering classic and contemporaneous concepts of island biogeography such as: adaptive radiation, biotic distributions, colonization, community ecology, dispersal and migration, equilibrium turnover, extinction, human impacts to island biodiversity, island formation, species-area relationships, and vertebrate paleontology. We will study Island Biogeography from a Pacific and West Indian island perspective. The course culminates with a week-long fieldtrip to the Bahamas during the Spring Break 2012 to excavate fossils in limestone caves and to survey modern vertebrate island communities.


Lectures, paper discussions, field trip (Eleuthera Island, Bahamas)