January 25, 2015

2014 Neuroscience Practicum Course at MBL

Brown University graduate students participate in the 2014 NeuroPracticum Course at MBL

Brown University graduate students participate in the 2014 NeuroPracticum Course at MBL

On January 9-17, 2014 at MBL, Professors Anne Hart and Christopher Moore of Brown University organized an intensive practical neuroscience course for twelve first year Brown University graduate students from the Neuroscience and the MCB departments. The goal of the course was to provide an intense hand-on practical lab experience in neuroscience experimental design, methodology and interpretation. This year, the course was taught by three faculty members from Brown University (Professors Carlos Aizenmann, David Berson and Diane Lipscombe) along with Dr. Hart and Dr. Moore. Also included in the course was a writing workshop for students run by Professor John Davenport from Brown University. The MBL lab experience was preceded by a series of lectures held at Brown University, where students were introduced to basic principles of logical/experimental inference, discussion of the techniques that were available to them in the MBL laboratory, and readings in a specific neuroscience topic.

The course provided students with training in multiple leading methods in neuroscience research, including electrophysiology (in vivo extracellular and in vitro intracellular recording studies), molecular biology (PCR genotyping, electrophoresis, restriction digests), genetics and behavior (sleep in C. elegans), imaging (2-photon microscopy, GFP/RFP imaging), and immunohistochemistry, along with in-depth data and image analysis.  Students, faculty and teaching assistants were at the bench all day and late into the night, reminiscent of MBL’s renowned summer courses.

Ecosystem Modeling Course For Non Programmers

A two week Brown-MBL course, “ENVS 2680 Ecosystem Modeling for Non-Programmers” was taught by MBL Senior Scientist, Dr. Ed Rastetter, to Brown University graduate and undergraduate students between January 6th- Jan 17th 2014 at MBL in Woods Hole. The two week hands-on course introduced five students to the uses and construction of ecosystem models.

Ecology is a relatively young science that grew from the largely descriptive discipline of Natural History. As the science has matured, it has begun to develop a firm quantitative foundation. For the most part, this foundation has been statistical (regression, correlation, analysis of variance, and ordination). The purpose of this course was to introduce the students to the other component of this quantitative foundation –  dynamic simulation modeling of ecological processes.

The students will use what they learned in the two week intensive class and over the course of the semester to develop their own simulation model of an ecosystem.  The model will be completed by the end of the term.

The course is usually offered every two years. For more information on the course view the following link:  ENVS 2680 modeling course and schedule-1

3 Day January 2013 Workshop: Intensifying Agriculture: Environmental Impacts and Potential Solutions

A three-day interdisciplinary workshop focused on intensive agriculture was held at MBL January 14- 16, 2013.

To meet the demands of a growing global population and shifting diets, the extent of agricultural land and productivity of existing land is increasing. This intensification of agriculture has unintended but profound effects on local and global environments. Natural and social scientists at Brown and the Marine Biological Laboratory have begun to describe these consequences, to understand social and biological drivers, and to develop solutions to issues associated with intensified agriculture.

This workshop will gather an interdisciplinary group of faculty, postdocs, and graduate students from Brown, MBL, our NSF PIRE project collaborators at Columbia, and other institutions to synthesize our understanding of the environmental impacts and solutions of intensified agricultural practices. The main objectives of the workshop are to review the state of knowledge of agriculture’s environmental impact, to identify knowledge gaps, and to stimulate new ideas for interdisciplinary research. We will explore the idea of putting together a special journal issue. Additionally, the workshop is intended to build and strengthen collaborations and identify avenues for future research.

To register for the workshop or to find more information, please click here and then choose ‘Registration Information’.

Please register by November 15, 2012 to guarantee your spot

Contact Rebecca Ryals at Rebecca_ryals@brown.edu with any questions.