Wayne Community College Biology Instructor Lynn Swafford presented at a national educators conference recently.
Swafford was selected to present at the Association of College and University Biology Educators annual meeting at Syracuse University in New York. She was one of just two instructors from a community or technical college who provided sessions alongside professors from institutions such as Cornell University, Marquette University, and Penn State University.
In her 40-minute presentation, “Surveying Biodiversity with iNaturalist,” Swafford discussed a lab activity she developed for her Principles of Biology and General Biology II classes. The activity utilizes iNaturalist, a citizen science project, that has students employ an app and photography function on their cell phones to record and identify plants, animals, and fungi in a designated area of the campus. Each class studies the data it has collected and determines how to graphically display it and what questions it answers.
Swafford reported that students enjoy the activity, which she originally created for her non-major biology classes “with the intent of increasing student interest in science and nature” but now also uses in a more demanding form with her students who are majoring in biology.
Wayne Community College is a public, learning-centered institution with an open-door admission policy located in Goldsboro, N.C. As it works to develop a highly skilled and competitive workforce, the college serves 11,000 individuals annually as well as businesses, industry, and community organizations with high quality, affordable, accessible learning opportunities, including more than 140 college credit programs. WCC’s mission is to meet the educational, training, and cultural needs of the communities it serves.