In 2012 the Division of Invertebrate Zoology received a major grant from the National Science Foundation (Collections in Support of Biological Research Program) to re-curate the collections of the George Gray Museum which were formerly part of the Marine Biological Laboratory (Woods Hole, MA) and now part of the Peabody Museum. NSF sponsorship also provided for the development of a workshop demonstrating how museum collections can be used as a primary resource for research. From this workshop, which was held in conjunction with Peabody Museum Public Education (July, 2013), a classroom laboratory exercise was developed that can be used to teach the basics of understanding morphological variation, a key way in which scientists evaluate the distinctiveness of populations. From the evaluation and understanding of variation, the teachers can then prompt students to think about what ecological, environmental, or evolutionary controls may be influencing morphological variation in populations.
The following are all the materials necessary to run the classroom exercise. Teachers should read through the directions and view the Powerpoint presentation to get an overview of what is to be done. If questions arise about how to use the materials, contact David Heiser, Peabody Museum Public Education (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number (NSF Grant Number 1203483).
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.