Meeting Abstract

P3.102  Jan. 6  Employing the Desert Tree Lizard (Urosaurus ornatus) as a Thematic Organism to Integrate the Curriculum DENNIS, Douglas*; DEUTCH, Chuck; MARSHALL, Pamela; MOORE, Elisabeth; DIXIT, Neha; Arizona State University at the West Campus; Arizona State University at the West Campus; Arizona State University at the West Campus; Arizona State University at the West Campus; Arizona State University at Tempe douglas.dennis@asu.edu

The Integrated Natural Science Department at the West campus of Arizona State University is an undergraduate-focused department comprising the fields of biology, chemistry, physics and geology. In recent years the department has strongly pursued teaching and curricular strategies that demonstrate to students the interconnectedness between disciplines and subdisciplines. A vehicle to this end has been the implementation of laboratory modules centered on the desert tree lizard (Urosaurus ornatus), an organism familiar to students because it is commonly found in Phoenix and the surrounding area. Modules currently implemented include allozyme analysis in Genetics, tissue-specific protein analysis in Cell Biology, general lizard anatomy and physiology in Introductory Biology, lizard oral flora in Microbiology, respirometry in Animal Physiology, dominant male behavior in Animal Behavior and a Urosaurus ornatus genome project in Molecular Genetics. Modules currently under development include analysis of lizard bite force in Physics, the bases for telemetry and tracking in Physics, uptake and sequestration of selenium in lizard tissue in Analytical Chemistry, and environmental chemical analyses in Introductory Chemistry. The curriculum and development of the modules has been facilitated by the construction of an outdoor lizard enclosure that allows us to closely mimic the normal habitat of the lizard. The developed laboratory modules will be discussed, with particular focus on the Urosaurus ornatus genome project. This project is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (HER-0411976).