- Gadsden State Hosts Zebrafish Workshop
Researchers, professors, biologists and aquatics specialists from universities, hospitals and research facilitiesacross the U.S. will be at Gadsden State Community College this week for a workshop designed to fill a gap in modern medical research.
Gadsden State's Aquaculture Department is hosting a Zebrafish Husbandry Education Curriculum Development Workshop, which began Monday. Dr.Hugh Hammer, Aquaculture program manager, said the workshop is designed to develop an educational program at Gadsden State to train people to take care of zebrafish, which are becoming a workhorse in medical research.
Medical research traditionally has depended on rats and mice as research models, but zebrafish are being widely used in research. They are less expensive, reproduce more frequently and grow faster than rodents.
Hammer said that he's challenged people to type the name of any human disease plus zebrafish into any Internet search engine. “For any human disease, you will find that someone, somewhere is using zebrafish for research on that disease,” he said. “About 500 U.S. labs are using zebrafish, but many don't understand how to properly take care of them.” Hammer said experience in keeping rodents has not prepared researchers for a lab with 30,000 or more zebrafish. “It's just different. You can't treat fish like rats and mice,” he said. “Everyone realizes this is a bottleneck in the system.” The workshop grew out of the need to eliminate that dilemma. Gadsden State and officials from the University of Alabama at Birmingham have designed the workshop so biologists and researchers can work with aquatics specialists to develop a program of study that will prepare students to grow and care for the zebrafish needed for research.
Aquatic Habitats, Aquaneering, Tecniplast USA, Thoren Aquatic Systems, Inc. and the Zebrafish Husbandry Association also are participating in and helping sponsor the workshop. In addition, the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Institute in New York, Boston Children's Hospital, University of Washington School of Medicine, National Institute of Health/Charles River and Reed Mariculture Inc. are sending representatives to Gadsden State to spend three days working on the program's curriculum. That's a testament to the importance of meeting this need in the research field, since discrepancies in animal care can compromise research goals.
Workshop participants will be developing a curriculum to provide standardized methods of caring for the fish, and Gadsden State soon will be the only college in the world offering it. Workshop organizers hope the three-semester program of study will provide students with the skills needed for good jobs in research labs.
Twenty-two middle and high school teachers from Alabama and Georgia recently attended the 12th annual “Growing Fish in Recirculating Systems K -12 Teacher Workshop” at Gadsden State Community College. The purpose of the workshop is to educate teachers on ways to use aquatic biology/aquaculture as a vehicle to deliver math and science concepts to their students.
During the workshop participants built several types of systems, hatched catfish, dissected fish and learned about aquaponics and hormonal control of reproduction in fish for induced spawning. The five-day session is a team taught course sponsored by Gadsden State, Auburn University’s Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures, Auburn Marine Extension and Research Center, the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service and the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium.
Dr. Hugh Hammer, aquaculture instructor at Gadsden State, said, “We have trained over 300 teachers nationwide since we began these workshops. It is a perfect fit for us to host the workshop because our facilities are designed for hands-on education.” The workshop is highly regarded as the best of its type in the nation. Thanks to the current funding from the United States Department of Agriculture the workshop was free to the teachers. Since the program began, Gadsden State has shipped fish to high schools in Ohio, West Virginia, Nebraska, Montana, South Dakota and Connecticut for educational purposes.
- Ms. Susan Sewell
Gadsden State Biology instructor
has been admitted into the University of Alabama at Birmingham's
Ph.D Program. Dr. Stephen A.Watts, PhD., Department
of Biology Graduate Program Director will serve as Ms. Sewell's
advisor. Dr. Hugh Hammer, Director, Aquatic Science and Aquaculture Education and Development Center at Gadsden State Community College
will be directing Ms.Sewell's studies which will concentrate on physiological research on Zebrafish.- April 14. 2011
Aquaculture featured in March 2011 issue of the QEP Connection
Spotlight: The Aquaculture Classroom - Dr. Hugh Hammer, aquaculture instructor
at Gadsden State Community College, is doing great things! Gadsden State had the first program in the Southeastern United States to spawn a northern fish called yellow perch. Interest is growing in these fish in Alabama due to the high retail prices around the great lakes ($11-15 per pound for fillets). Farmers depend on Gadsden State for fingerlings and research since there is a 30% longer growing season than in Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. On March 2, 2011, Dr. Hammer presented “The Potential for Zebrafish Husbandry Training Courses through Gadsden State Community College” at the Zebrafish Husbandry Workshop in New Orleans, Louisiana. The zebrafish is becoming a popular vertebrae model for biological and medical research with over 250 research laboratories in the US and over 600 research laboratories worldwide using the zebrafish. - click link above to view complete article and images
- Gadsden State Biology instructor, Amanda Lee-Glaze, presented "Lost in Translation: Bridging the Gap Between Pure Science and Science Education" at the NSTA/SCST (National Science Teachers Association/ The Society for College Science Teachers) Regional Conference in Nashville, Tn December 2010. The focus of the presentation was to examine the formation of learning communities among science teachers, scientists, and teacher educators for the purpose of professional mentoring, growth, and support as well as improved student achievement.
Gadsden State Aquaculture Program Thrives
For ten years Dr. Hugh Hammer has been building the Aquatic Science and Aquaculture
Education and Development Center to train students to go on to more advanced degrees in fisheries and science or directly into the state’s multimillion-dollar farming and fisheries industries. The program continues to offer exciting hands-on experience. Read the complete news article and view the pictures of students working in the ponds to catch fingerling yellow perch needed for a study.
Students Aided by Dr. Hugh Hammer and Gadsden State's Aquaculture Department During the Tenth Annual Water Festival
More than 1,500 Etowah County fourth grade students will be on the Wallace Drive Campus of Gadsden State Community College December 3 for the tenth annual Water Festival.
The goal of the festival is to help students learn more about the water supply. “The students spend the day learning about the value of water, as well as, how important it is that they make an effort to preserve and protect our water supply,” explained Sarah Butterworth, Middle Coosa Watershed Project Coordinator. The students are aided by Dr. Hugh Hammer, Gadsden State aquaculture instructor, his students and local professionals. Butterworth estimated that over 140 volunteers will be involved.
“The Etowah County Water Festival is in its 10th consecutive year, and we have been an integral part of this program from its inception,” Hammer said. “This program has taught over 12,000 students from our community the importance of preserving our water resources. One of the most positive signs that this program is working is the fact that fourth-grade kids from 2001 and 2002 are now returning to be the volunteers that teach the next generation, and some are even showing up in my classroom to make aquatic and marine resources their career.”
-Gadsden Times, November 30,2010 (link to complete story)
Gadsden State Professor Presents at Belgium Conference
Susan Sewell, a biology instructor at Gadsden State Community College, recently attended the 14th International Meiofauna Conference hosted by the International Association of Meiobenthologists in Ghent, Belgium.
The conference was a world-wide gathering of more than 180 scientists from 28 countries. Sewell was selected as one of 65 presenters for the conference. Her presentation entitled “Metabolic rates of an aquatic tardigrade, Dactlylobiotus cf. parthenogeneticus” explained the variation of oxygen consumption among active animals, encysted animals and individual eggs at different temperatures.
Tardigrades, also referred to as Water Bears, are microscopic invertebrates that must be surrounded by water to be active.
-Gadsden Times, August 15, 2010 (link to complete story)
Gadsden State Staff Attend Anatomy Course at LSU
Gadsden State Community College Biology Instructor Phillip Snider and Kaci Rodgers, gross anatomy lab supervisor, recently participated in an exclusive course recently offered by the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society-Institute (HAPS-I). The course, “Anatomy of the Nervous System”, was conducted at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. The main objective of the course was to teach human cadaver dissection of the brain, cranial nerves, spinal cord and brachial plexus (nerves between the neck and armpit that control most of the arm). The course was composed of online exams and assignments, as well as on site dissection.
Snider and Rodgers were excited to participate in this course because the brachial plexus is a part of the nervous system they have been eager to study in depth. Both gained valuable hands-onexperience in Gadsden State’s gross anatomy (cadaver) lab since its opening in 2008 which gave them an edge on the other participants.
Three graduate hours will be granted to both Snider and Rodgers by the University of Washington, an academic partner of the Institute, for their work in this course. To Snider, who already has a master’s degree, the experience gained from the course is far more valuable than the academic credit. The knowledge and expertise he obtained will directly benefit his students. “This course has increased my confidence in teaching that area of the body,” said Snider.
The final project for the course will be a collaborative effort between both Snider and Rodgers on the brachial plexus that will be completed and submitted at the beginning of September. Students enrolled in Biology 271- Human Gross Anatomy/Pathophysiology this fall will get to see the project first-hand, and it will be accessible to other members of the HAPS-I on the organization’s Web site. Funds for the professional development opportunity were provided by a U. S. Department of Education Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Project grant.
Textbook Author Visits Gadsden State - April 2010
The Gadsden State Community College Science Department welcomed Terry R. Martin, author of the McGraw-Hill Lab Manual for Human Anatomy and Physiology, to campus to witness how the book he composed is being utilized at the College. Martin, an anatomy and physiology instructor at Kishwaukee College in Malta, Illinois, said he decided to visit the campus after meeting Gadsden State Science Department faculty members Shirley Colvin, Dr. Bennett Tucker, Jr. and Phillip Snider at the Human Anatomy and Physiology Conference in Baltimore, Maryland last year. “We connected over the lab manual and soon they were telling me about how wonderful the city of Gadsden and Gadsden State are,” said Martin. “My wife and I take a road trip every year and decided that we had to see Alabama since we had never been and make a special visit to Gadsden State.”
While at Gadsden State, Martin had the opportunity to sit in on several biology classes including a lab that was using the manual he had written. Phillip Snider, a biology instructor at the College, said that he was excited to be able to allow his classes to meet the individual who composed their manual. “This is considered the Cadillac of lab manuals,” said Snider. “The manual is clear, concise and does not bog students down with unnecessary information, which is very beneficial as an instructor.” Martin said that when he was chosen to write the manual that would be a component to the published McGraw-Hill textbook, he wanted to make sure it was simple to understand and relatable. He expressed that being a community college instructor provided him a better chance to relate to students because of the smaller class size which allows more one-on-one time.
During a tour of the science facilities, Martin expressed that he was very impressed with the science facilities on campus. “Gadsden State is very lucky to have such a wonderful science faculty and an amazing resource like the gross anatomy lab,” Martin said while signing autographs to copies of his lab manual for students. “Everyone I have met here has a genuine desire to help their students achieve greatness.”
Martin said that when he was chosen to write the manual that would be a component to the published McGraw-Hill textbook, he wanted to make sure it was simple to understand and relatable. He expressed that being a community college instructor provided him a better chance to relate to students because of the smaller class size which allows more one-on-one time.
“Community colleges are amazing places because they offer just that, community,” said Martin. “And I can tell that Gadsden State has a wealth of that.” The author and his wife completed their Alabama road trip with a tour of Gadsden and a trip to Tuscaloosa. He said that he thoroughly enjoys writing lab manuals, but that no other manuals were currently in the works for him at this time.
For more information about Lab Manual for Human Anatomy and Physiology, please contact Terry R. Martin at email@example.com. For more information about Gadsden State’s Science Department, please contact Shirley Colvin, Division Chair for Science, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gadsden State Instructor Wins National Technology Award
Brian Geislinger, Ph.D., Gadsden State Community College physics instructor, has been named the recipient of the 2010 Vernier Technology Award. The award,which is also sponsored by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), is presented to seven individuals nationwide who promote cutting-edge techniques for data-collection technology using various handheld electronics in the classroom. Geislinger is the only recipient at the college level.
Geislinger, who used Vernier Technology in his student astronomy labs, was nominated for developing a unique approach to study light curves of various astronomical phenomena. He said that the study of light curves shows how light from an object, like a star or a planet, changes over time. In addition to his award, he will receive a $1,000 cash award, $1,000 in Vernier Technology Products, and up to $1,000 toward expenses to attend the annual NSTA National Convention. He will also receive a one-year membership to NSTA.
“I am absolutely thrilled,” Geislinger said, “The students who participated in the lab loved it! I called them my ‘guinea pigs’ but they helped me out immensely as I ironed out all the details to the program.” “Brian cares about his students and their quest for education. He is always looking for a better and more interesting manner of presenting scientific concepts that will make them more understandable,” said Nancy Gilbert, a biology instructor at Gadsden State who nominated Geislinger. “His constant efforts to improve science education and his inquiring mind have proven very beneficial to his students.”
Geislinger said that he is interested in attending the convention because it allows him to keep a fresh perspective on his teaching approaches. “It is always enlightening when you have a chance to discuss your passion with those in the top of their field,” he said. He hopes instructors at other colleges will be able to take his idea for their classes and that more students benefit from the program he designed.
Geislinger, who has been with Gadsden State since 2007, received his bachelor of science in applied mathematics from Spring Hill College, a master’s degree in physics and a doctorate in physics from the University of Alabama Birmingham. He has been published in both SPIE Proceedings and Physical Review E journals and presented at the Ecolè de Physique Les Houches School in France. “I love science and all I hope is that I inspire my students to find their passion in life,” Geislinger said.
He will accept his award at the NSTA National Conference on March 19 in Philadelphia, Pa. For more information please contact Dr. Brian Geislinger at email@example.com.
Excellence in Teaching Awards were presented to both Tim Hardy, air conditioning andrefrigeration instructor, and Dr.Nancy Lee, biology instructor. Lee holds bachelor of science degrees from the University of Montevallo in nutrition and Jacksonville State University in secondary education, a master of education degree from the University of Montevallo in secondary education and a doctorate of education in leadership, policy and technology in higher education from the University of Alabama. She is a member of the National Teachers Association, Alabama Teachers Association and National Science Teachers Association. She teaches biology at Gadsden State’s Ayers Campus. - Gadsden Times Article
Faculty Members Recognized for Excellence in Teaching
Nancy Gilbert, biology instructor at the Wallace Drive, McClellan and Ayers Campuses, was presented the Brenda Crowe Exceptional Teaching Award for the academic faculty. Theaward is named for the former dean of institutional advancement and community services.
Employed at Gadsden State since 1992, Gilbert is considered to be one of the most popular instructors on campus with a teaching style that is energetic and nurturing. One student remarked, “I live an hour from campus but Mrs. Gilbert’s class was worth the drive.” Another student proclaimed that Mrs. Gilbert makes microbiology fun to learn.
Gilbert has consistently taught overloads each semester for the past five years. She is also sponsor of the Science, Math and Engineering Club at Gadsden State. A committee of faculty and administrators recognized as experts in the field of community college instruction reviewed the nominations and selected the honorees.
Gadsden State Instructor Attends International Symposium
Gadsden State Community College Biology Instructor, Susan Sewell, attended the 11th International Tardigrade Symposium held in Tubingen, Germany. The symposium is a world-wide gathering of scientists who present their research findings with an academic focus on tardigrades. Tardigrades, also called Water Bears because their walk is similar to a bear’s gait, are microscopic invertebrates found mostly in damp locations. Sewell was invited to attend the conference because of her extensive research on tardigrades….
For Sewell, the experience has made her a better scientist and teacher. “I teach the scientific method every day, but actually participating in research allows me to explain the techniques by experience,” she added. “I also believe that being around experts from all over the world enabled me to learn new skills from them that I can bring back to Gadsden State to better help my students.”….Source: Gadsden State Community College 12/15/09 News Release
GSCC Instructor Presents Research at Symposium
..........Susan Sewell began her research in May 2007 while studying for her master’s degree in science at Jacksonville State University. Sewell gave two presentations at the symposium. The first was an oral presentation of her study on the tardigrade population she discovered living on the rocks of a manmade natural stone waterfall at Cold Water Falls in Tuscumbia.
“I conducted a sight-survey and life-history analysis of the tardigrades found in the fresh-water spring,” she said. The analysis was used to determine how many tardigrades were present during each life-cycle stage. Sewell said the tardigrades also have population peaks, which means there are certain times the population is larger or smaller.
“I used the life-history analysis to determine the specific times that the population had its peaks,” she said.
In the second presentation, Sewell demonstrated her study on the different culturing techniques she used to grow tardigrades inside her laboratory.
The symposium triggered an expansion to Sewell’s current study, as several scientists present at the conference believe she discovered a new species of tardigrades during her research.
Sewell said she, along with two researchers from Poland and Italy, soon will work to confirm whether the tardigrade she is working with actually is a new species.
Sewell, a lifelong resident of Cherokee County, is conducting research on tardigrades and is awaiting publication of two articles she wrote based on her findings about the species. - exerpted from Gadsden Times article published Dec. 25, 2009
Susan Sewell - Gadsden State Biology Instructor, was recommended by the Grants and Scholarship Committee and Approved by the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society (HAPS) Board of Directors to be awarded the Robert B. Anthony Scholarship at the 2010 annual Meeting in Denver
Med Camp 2009 - Students get hands-on chance to explore medicine, science - The grimaces turned to smiles with the first cut. The students at Gadsden State Community College's second Med Camp were given the opportunity to play doctors and surgeons as they dissected a fetal pig on Monday. But through their giggles of excitement, something more than fun was happening. They were learning.-Gadsden Times (link to complete story)
Students Take Part in Fetal Pig Dissection -Giggles of excitement could be heard down the hallway at Gadsden State Community College on Wednesday as campers clamored to have their pictures taken with the unusual celebrities of the day — fetal pigs. The pigs were the stars of the Med Camp’s educational demonstration on how to dissect an animal. - Gadsden Times (link to complete story)
Ms. Shirley Colvin assists students during Med Camp