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August 11, 2014


In This Issue:
Deadline Extension: Poster Session & GPC Poster and Discussion Panel
CLE: Increase Your Teaching Impact, Reduce Your Environmental Impact
Submit Your Photos For The ABT Cover Image
NABT Members In The News
Updated PULSE Rubric Portal
Regional Events: VABT Annual Conference
Sponsor Spotlight: Introducing PASCO’s Wireless Spectrometer


Deadline Extension: Undergraduate Poster Session & GPC Poster and Discussion Panel


NABT has extended the deadlines for a two of its special programs. Please see the information below for more information.

Undergraduate Education Poster Session: You and your students are invited to present research and exercises on teaching and learning biology at the NABT Undergraduate Education Poster Session. This event will take place on the evening of Thursday, November 13th at the 2014 Professional Development Conference. Posters can present the incorporation of new teaching strategies, techniques, or programs. Past posters have even highlighted a new lesson plan or laboratory exercise and posters in all areas of biology and biology education are acceptable. Posters that include research and data on the efficacy of the presented technique are particularly encouraged. Both graduate and undergraduate students from four-year and two-year institutions can also choose to enter the Student Poster Competition.

Guidelines and instructions are available at 2014 Poster Session.

The new deadline for submission of poster is August 15th, 2014. If you have already submitted a poster, please confirm that you submission was received by contacting Kathy Gallucci at

Global Perspectives Committee (GPS) Poster Session & Discussion Panel: NABT's Global Perspectives Committee serves as a forum to enhance biology education internationally and to empower teachers and students to think more critically and creatively about a global world. The GPC encourages you to think globally by participating in this year's 2nd Annual Persuasive Poster Session and Discussion Panel. This event will be held on Thursday, November 13th at the 2014 NABT Professional Development Conference in Cleveland, Ohio .

The 2014 poster session theme is Promoting Global Sustainability in the Teaching and Learning of Biology. If you would like to submit a poster for this event, please send a title, names of author(s) with college/university affiliation(s), contact information, and abstract (up to 200 words) to the committee secretary, Melissa Coyle at Please use 2014 Global Perspectives Poster Proposal in the subject header.

The proposal submission deadline has been extended to August 25, 2014.

CLE: Increase Your Teaching Impact, Reduce Your Environmental Impact

In recent weeks, thousands of the world's leading scientists have emphatically demonstrated that the world is warming and such warming is due to us, to our ever-expanding use of fossil fuels; this use causes considerable habitat alteration and destruction (e.g. mountaintop removal, oil spills, groundwater contamination) and the release of carbon dioxide which then furthers the greenhouse effect and subsequent warming. Given current trends, life and its habitats on earth will change dramatically with rising temperatures and seas.

To address this predicament, we, as life science teachers, must respond in how we teach and how we live. As we gather at the NABT Professional Development Conference, we need to better consider and act on measures which save energy, reduce pollution, and further life especially as we consider future generations.

These measures include:

  • Use carbon offsets when traveling.
  • Consider carpooling, using the train, or other forms of mass transit. There are a variety of options from the Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, a train from the airport to downtown, Uber and Lyft, and a free downtown trolley.
  • Bringing your own reusable water bottle. The Cleveland Convention Center has filtered water stations.
  • Reuse towels and sheets during extended hotel stays, and also adjusting the thermostat and turning off the lights when the room is unoccupied.
  • Continue to support NABT in its choice of convention centers and hotels, where recycling and energy conservation are a theme.
  • Support NABT by suggesting speakers and presentations which address climate change and habitat loss and civic engagement

Also, consider the following changes you can make everyday:

  • Increase your use of electronic forms of communication.
  • Eat less meat and source your food locally.
  • Educate your students about the human population, resource consumption and innovation.
  • Take yourself and your students outside...
  • Consult the NABT position statements on teaching sustainability and environmental issues at

Thank you for your consideration and help in saving our unique and wondrous natural world.

Submitted by
Peter Mclean
St. Andrews School, Middletown, DE
Member of the NABT Global Perspectives Committee



Submit Your Photos For The ABT Cover Image


Have you taken hundreds of pictures this summer? Would you like to see one of them grace the cover of The American Biology Teacher? The ABT has a long history of showcasing impressive images, and the covers are the hallmark of the journal. We are always looking for high quality, full color images that convey a story about the organism or scene featured in the photograph. Do you have one? Instructions for submitting images for cover consideration can be found in the ABT Submission Guidelines.

Photographers may also submit images for a new feature that will highlight “mystery images.” These pictures do not have to be of the same digital quality as those for the cover and will feature some organism or part of an organism that is generally unknown to our readers. We will use these images on a space available basis. Readers ask the question “What is It?” and the answer will appear elsewhere in the issue. If you decide to submit a mystery image, please write a few sentences to accompany the picture and tell the story of what it is.

Please submit all photos and inquiries about photographs to Kathleen Westrich, ABT Assistant Editor at

Did you notice anything different about the cover of your August issue of The ABT? Let us know what you think by posting your feedback on the NABT Group Page at




NABT Members In The News

We would like to offer our congratulations to NABT members that were recently honored for their teaching.

Mrs. Valarie May was recently named the 2014 -2015 Teacher of the Year at The Woodstock Academy, in Woodstock, CT. Valerie is a biology teacher and current Department Chair at The Woodstock Academy, an independent, co-educational, college preparatory high school for grades 9–12.

We also extend our congratulations to NABT Past-President Mark Little of Broomfield High School in Broomfield, CO. Mark was recognized by the Boettcher Foundation as part of its 2014 Teacher Recognition Awards Program. He was nominated by Broomfield student Allyson Malecha, a recipient of a Boettcher Scholarship. He received  a grant of $1,000 to be used for educational programs or projects to benefit students at his school, as well as a plaque recognizing his achievement.

Both Valarie and Mark are outstanding biology teachers who are much deserving of this recognition. We wish them the very best as they enter the next academic year.



Updated PULSE Rubric Portal


PULSE has recently made some changes to their online rubric portal to make it more user friendly!

Find it at

There are two ways to interact with the rubric portal. The first is simply to review the rubrics and make comments and/or give feedback regarding specific criteria. PULSE is soliciting feedback from individuals on the rubrics so that they can be improved. If any of the criteria are unclear, or if important criteria are missing, please enter comments in the places provided as you complete the survey.

The second way to interact with the rubric portal will allow collection of institutional data online. The data entered should be reflective of the program as a whole and the scores established collaboratively by faculty in the program with the approval and (hopefully) participation of the chair. The data collect will assist with norming the certification process. Individual institutional data will be kept confidential with access limited to the project team. Please be sure to consult the Rubrics Instruction Manual and the BioCore guide prior to completing these rubrics. These documents are available at

Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education (PULSE) is a collaborative effort developed and funded by NSF, NIH/NIGMS, and HHMI to catalyze adoption of the principles outlined in the 2011 report "Vision and Change in Undergraduate Life Science Education: A Call to Action". The rubric portal has been designed to capture data on where life science departments are along a spectrum of V&C recommendation adoption and collect feedback on the PULSE Vision & Change Rubrics. The rubrics were developed to aid departments in evaluating their own progress along the spectrum of change and provide valuable information about V&C implementation for the PULSE Certification project and eventually to the broader community.

Please contact Kate Marley at 402-826-8548 or if you have questions regarding the rubrics or technical difficulties with the survey system.

NOTE ON DATA CONFIDENTIALITY: The survey results and all information collected from this site will be kept strictly confidential. The data will be studied in aggregate form and individual institutional data will remain private.


Regional Events: VABT Annual Conference

The Virginia Association of Biology Teachers (VABT) invites you to spend the day (or the weekend) at the UVA Blandy Experimental Farm for the VABT Annual Conference. Being held September 12 0 14, you'll experience biology, environmental science, polar science, monarch and bumblebee studies and much more in the beautiful surrounding of the 700-acre Blandy Farm. Onsite amenities include bike paths, horseback riding (if you bring your horse), native plant trails, and birding opportunities (if you bring your binoculars).

For more information, please download the VABT 2014 Flyer or contact Kathy Frame at Registration ends August 29, 2014.



Sponsor Spotlight:
Introducing PASCO’s Wireless Spectrometer


You’ll be tickled pink that our price will keep you out of the red.

Lend color to your lab and some green in your pocket.

  • For $399 you can measure absorbance, transmittance, and fluorescence all in one apparatus.
  • Measure light intensity and emission spectra with the optional Fiber Optic Cable.
  • The Bluetooth® and USB connectivity enable use with iPads®, tablets, and computers to suit a mix of technologies.
  • FREE spectrometry software that is compatible with Red Tide and Amadeus. PC and Mac® versions are included with your purchase. FREE apps for iPad and Android™ tablets are available on iTunes® and Google Play™.
  • And with a price of $399, you can stay in the black for other equipment purchases too.

Put it to a 2-week litmus test.
Be one of the first to evaluate the Spectrometer free for 2-weeks. An interest list is now forming at the PASCO booth. We are confident you will find it the blue-ribbon product of the year. Can we color you interested? Stop by and sign up today!

Perform these labs with flying colors:

  • Investigate the emission spectra of different light sources* and the effect on photosynthetic rates
  • Absorbance spectra of plant pigments
  • Photosynthesis with DPIP
  • Enzyme catalyzed reactions
  • Fluorescence of Chlorophyll and Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) *Requires Fiber Optic Cable

Spec Check:

  • 380-950 nm range
  • 2-3nm FWHM resolution
  • Fluorescence at 405nm and 500nm
  • USB or Bluetooth





Send us your News & Views!


Address: NABT, 12100 Sunset Hills Road, Suite 130 Reston, VA 20190

Phone: (888) 501-NABT


Twitter @NABT_News


2014 NABT Professional
Development Conference
November 12-15, 2014
Cleveland Convention Center
Cleveland, OH




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