Free, Open-Source Biology Career Series

According to National Geographic, species are alarmingly going extinct 1,000 times faster than previously recorded due to humans. With such a detrimental situation upon us, we must encourage individuals to pursue careers in wildlife biology in order to try to reduce the number of species that are quickly disappearing from our planet.

Our team at wants to equip individuals who are set on pursuing a career in wildlife with the tools to help them succeed and create a career that will be life-long and fulfilling. We curated a Biology Career Series dedicated to both students and professionals that delves into programs, curriculum, and career outlook. Take a look below.

Become a Wildlife Biologist:

Program Guide:

Earning a Bachelor’s Degree:

Request from SENCER Colleague and “Transcending Boundaries for Success” Pilot Institution

Dear NCSCE member,

We have been awarded an NSF Research Coordination Networks in Undergraduate Biology Education (NSF RCN-UBE) incubator grant: Building a framework for the River-based ImmersiVe Education & Research (RIVER) Field Studies Network. 

To  inform the development of a full RCN proposal and to grow our network, we invite you to use the survey link provided below to tell us about such courses that you and/or your institution may offer, and if not, the reasons why such courses are not offered by you and/or your institution.

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The Sustainability Challenges Facing Research and Teaching Laboratories When Going Green

Marcus Banks,Molly Metz &Davida S. Smyth

Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development 

Volume 62, 2020 – Issue 2


Systems Thinking and Educating the Heads, Hands, And Hearts of Chemistry Majors,
Matthew A. Fisher
J. Chem. Educ. 2019, 96, 12, 2715-2719

Publication Date:November 8, 2019

Calls for Papers


Special issue of Science Education and Civic Engagement: An International Journal in memory of Dr. David Ferguson

Science Education and Civic Engagement: An International Journal (SECEIJ) is calling for submissions to be part of a special issue honoring the life and legacy of Dr. David Ferguson, Distinguished Service Professor and Provost’s Scholar at Stony Brook University, who died unexpectedly in July 2019. David was one of the first individuals involved with the National Science Foundation funded SENCER (Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities) Project and became a senior leader in that community. In addition to chairing the SENCER Leadership Fellows program, David was a long-time member of the editorial advisory board for SECEIJ.Continue reading

2019 The Year of National STEM Improvement Collaborations!

Happy New Year from NCSCE!

As a new year and new semester starts we are reflecting on all the great work that SENCER practitioners and allies accomplished in the past year. 2019 was definitely the Year of Collaboration! The National Center and SENCER are included, with other leading STEM reform organizations, in the following NSF funded initiatives;

Bridging to STEM Excellence (BTSE) This IUSE-Exploratory grant (Rick Moog, PI) has convened the leadership from POGIL, SENCER, National Geoscience Teachers Association and the Mobile Summer Institutes for Scientific Teaching to create cross-association consulting teams to provide faculty development support at 5 institutions. The SENCER group is Eliza J. Reilly (NCSCE), Davida Smyth (The New School) and Mangala Kothari (LaGuardia Community College). This project has provided a practical opportunity to bring the collective strengths of leading STEM reform efforts to individual campuses to address specific faculty needs as identified by the participating institutions. A bonus is that we all have a much better idea of the approaches, strategies, and strengths of our respective STEM improvement initiatives.

NSITE: Networking STEM Initiatives to Enhance Adoption of Evidence-based Practices (NSITE)

NSITE (Michelle Withers, PI) is a three-year NSF funded Research Coordination Network (RCN-UBE). It has the ultimate goal of improving retention of a large and diverse student population in STEM. To achieve this goal, NSITE has brought together multiple initiatives that approach this problem from unique angles, but historically have worked in parallel rather than as a coordinated effort. NSITE is using a Networked Improvement Community approach to foster communication, coordination, and collaboration among these initiatives to improve our collective efforts in improving retention in STEM. NSITE’s opening meeting in Phoenix, AZ in April 2019 brought together ten prominent STEM reform initiatives, including SENCER, BioQUEST, POGIL, PKal, Summer Institutes, PULSE, POD, and CIRTL.

These collaborations have provided a much-needed opportunity for leaders of the most durable and effective STEM improvement efforts to learn from each other and clarify what they have in common, including overlapping membership and participation, how they complement each other, and what makes them distinctive.

These projects have also generated formal collaborations for SENCER that benefit our constituents and expand our reach, including the creation of a SENCER-QUBES site ( and a new partnership between SENCER and the Mobile Summer Institutes to hold workshops at SUNY Binghamton, Geneseo, Farmingdale, Suffolk, Old Westbury funded by SUNY’s IITG program.

Regional News


The Center for Teaching and Learning at LaGuardia Community College held two Professional Development Seminars, “SENCER: Creating and Integrating Science Literacy across the Disciplines.”

In October and November 2019, with the support of the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at LaGuardia Community College (CUNY), Dr. Mangala Kothari, Professor in the Mathematics, Engineering, and Computer Science Department, led two professional development seminars about the integration of SENCER principles into courses beyond STEM disciplines. The seminars were co-designed and co-facilitated by Dr. Michele Piso Manoukian, CTL Associate Director for Scholarship and Publication. Read full Report here!

NCSCE partnered with Stony Brook University on an NSF sponsored conference
“Data Science Across the Undergraduate Curriculum.” Impressive program was opened with a keynote from SENCER Senior Fellow, Jay Labov Read description here.

Southwest: The SENCER Center for Innovation—Southwest Spring 2020 Regional Symposium will take place at Texas Woman’s University, Denton, TX on January 31, 2020.  This year’s symposium theme will be: Citizen Science: The Impact on our Communities by Plastics in Our Environment.  This symposium will focus on the global crisis of plastic from multidisciplinary views including the science, environmental, economic, policies, and health related impacts of plastics. This symposium will be held as a Zero Impact event!  TO REGISTER CLICK HERE!

Mountain West: Montana Grand Challenge Institute, June 11-14, 2020: Culminating meeting of the Keck funded “Transcending Barriers to Success: Connecting Indigenous and Western Knowledge

Long-time SENCER participant, Kentucky Campus Compact, will be sponsoring a forum on an important civic challenge. “Hacking Housing Insecurity: One Movie, Five Ideas, Infinite Conversations” will be held on February 7, 2020 at Mt. St. Josephy University:

Port Jefferson Rain Garden Supports Citizen Science and Sustainable Practices on Long Island

Funding provided by:

Long Island Sound Futures Fund ( LISFF)
Rain Gardens at Port Jefferson Harbor: Linking Water, Wildlife and Waterways (NY)

Supporting citizen science and local sustainability, the Long Island Explorium has installed 2 native plant rain gardens Village Center location and Village Hall location with volunteers with one more location coming soon. The rain gardens are located in high-visibility public sites and provide natural landscaping guidance to community members in Port Jefferson.  The project will demonstrate to visitors using the Bridgeport-Port Jefferson ferry how rain gardens improve the water quality and biodiversity of Long Island Sound.  

SSI 2019 Program Highlights

JUST A FEW OF THE FEATURED SESSIONS AT THE 2019 SENCER SUMMER INSTITUTE. To register and for more program information click HERE 


Introduction to the Question Formulation Technique: A High-Impact Practice for Student Inquiry (Registration fee: 100.00)

This active learning workshop will provide participants an introduction to the Question Formulation Technique (QFT), a simple, powerful evidence-based strategy used by over 350,000 educators to teach students how to ask their own questions. The QFT helps to advance teaching and learning goals across all disciplines through cultivating collaborative, student-centered learning. Participants will learn how to facilitate the strategy and will have the opportunity to plan on how to best integrate the QFT into their instruction to support ongoing work.  The workshop will cover:
• Analysis and unpacking of how and why the QFT works
• Review of higher education examples across subject areas
• Hands-on work on the art and science of the QFT
• Practice in Question Focus design
• Development of a QFT lesson using a planning tool for teaching, priority-setting, and other collaborative processes.

The workshop will be capped at 25. Please add to your SSI registration.

Facilitator: The Right Question Institute’s (RQI) Director of Strategy for the Education Program, Andrew P. Minigan, will facilitate the learning experience. Andrew is currently a Co-P.I. on a National Science Foundation funded grant exploring how the QFT supports doctoral students’ ability to develop research questions, and from 2015-2018 he led RQI’s Million Classrooms Campaign (supported with funding from the John Templeton Foundation).


Muti-Session Symposium on Assessment Strategies for Science and Civic Engagement featuring:

  • Linden Higgins, Education for Critical Thinking, LLC (Chair)
  • Matt Fisher, Professor of Chemistry, St. Vincent’s College; Co-Editor, Science Education and Civic Engagement: An International Journal; SENCER Senior Fellow and recipient William E. Bennett Award; Carnegie SoTL Scholar; Fellow, American Chemical Society.
  • Davida Smyth, Associate Professor Biology, The New School; SENCER Senior Leadership Fellow.
  • Catherine Duckett, Associate Dean, School of Science, Monmouth University.
  • Yao Hill, Assessment Specialist, University of Hawaii-Manoa; Evaluator, NCSCE’s Transcending Barriers to Success: Connecting Indigenous and Western Knowledge



Workshop-Learn Through the Universe: An Introductory Experience

Mercedes Talley

For the last two years, Learn Through the Universe (LTTU) has been developing a website that

presents a new approach to understanding scale based on the human experience of oneself and others in space and time. It makes clear the physical structure of the universe while focusing on how humankind perceives and interacts with the beings and things that compose it

The approach has learners construct true-to-scale two-dimensional and three-dimensional models of the universe at powers of ten, starting with the scale of oneself, and proceeding down into the subatomic realm and out to the edge of the universe. The models are used to study relevant topics in the traditional disciplines of the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, as well as in applied disciplines such as health, business and engineering. The author/designer will use existing SENCER model courses to demonstrate how LTTU can be used to add an exploration of scale to any problem-based course or module.



Partnership Power: Creating Collaborative Community Connections

Felton Thomas, Jr., Executive Director and CEO, Cleveland Public Library.

Felton Thomas, Jr. was appointed Director of the Cleveland Public Library (CPL) in January 2009.  Since then, he has positioned CPL as a community deficit fighter and launched initiatives aimed at addressing community needs in the areas of technology, education, and economic development. During Felton’s tenure, CPL has maintained its “Five Star” status and been named a “Top Innovator” by the Urban Libraries Council for its use of technology and data to inform decision making.  Felton also has guided CPL through the worst recession in decades by actively seeking input from the community, and then reducing CPL’s budget by millions while still providing superior service and keeping all neighborhood branches open. Under Felton, the Library has battled the digital divide, illiteracy, unemployment, and other community deficits with innovative programming and action at all branches.



Education and Work in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

David Ferguson, Distinguished Service Professor and Provost’s Scholar for Diversity and Innovation, Stony Brook University, will offer the final plenary session on this important topic that is central to our common efforts to prepare students for the future.

David Ferguson is a Distinguished Service Professor of Technology and Society and Applied Mathematics and Statistics at Stony Brook University. He has been a leader in New York State and in the nation on education projects, ranging from pre-college through graduate education, with funding as PI or co-PI on grants totaling more than $30 million. He has also served on several national panels on STEM education, including a standing panel on the NSF’s Applications of Advanced Technologies.

In 1992, Professor Ferguson received the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. He is a New York State and national leader in programs to enhance the participation of underrepresented minority students in undergraduate and graduate science, mathematics, engineering, and technology programs. Dr. Ferguson was a member of the executive committee of the NSF- supported Recognition Award for the Integration of Research and Education (RAIRE). From 1998 until 2002, Dr. Ferguson was the founding director of Stony Brook’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT).


CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Science Education and Civic Engagement: An International Journal

Accepting submissions for its Summer Issue – DEADLINE EXTENDED! May 10, 2019

The mission of Science Education and Civic Engagement: An International Journal is to explore constructive connections between science education and civic engagement that will enhance both experiences for our students. In the 21st century, mathematical and scientific reasoning is an essential element for full participation in a democratic society. Contributions to this journal will focus on using unsolved, complex civic issues as a framework to develop students’ understanding of the role of scientific knowledge in personal and public decision making, along with examining how such knowledge is embedded in a broader social and political context. Since many pressing issues are not constrained by national borders, we encourage perspectives that are international or global in scope. In addition to examining what students learn, we will also explore how this learning takes place and how it can be evaluated, documented, and strengthened.

Science Education and Civic Engagement: An International Journal is published by the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement (NCSCE). Hosted by Stony Brook University, NCSCE’s mission is to inspire, support, and disseminate campus-based science education reform strategies that strengthen learning and build civic accountability among students in colleges and universities. The Center will serve as a national resource for the improvement of undergraduate science education and will provide a platform enabling faculty and administrators to broaden the impact of their innovations and reforms beyond their campuses.

The Journal solicits submissions for publication as articles in several different categories. Detailed descriptions of the various types of articles published as well as detailed submission guidelines can be found at All submissions go through “single blind” peer review.

The journal accepts submissions on a rolling basis. However, manuscripts that authors hope to see published in the Summer 2019 issue should be submitted by May 3 to ensure full consideration.

Spring Meetings, Member Publications

Upcoming Meetings: 

Regional Meeting: SCI-Mid-Atlantic Spring 2019 Meeting
The SENCER Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting is being hosted by the New School with the exciting theme ofSTEM, Humanities and Social Justice.Proposals for posters, workshops, presentations are all welcome, particularly those from non-STEM disciplines and we shall be highlighting some of the exciting work being done at the New School. Deadline for submissions is Feb 8th.Please save the date – April 5th!! Please RSVP here

SCI-Midwest Spring 2019 Meeting
SCI Midwest will be hosting a meeting at Roosevelt University, Schaumberg Campus
Date: April 5, 2019
Title:Innovation and Collaboration in STEM Education
For program information and registration go to:


Hold the Date!  August 1-4, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio
Early Registration will launch next week!

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