Archives par mot-clé : education

Introduction to DNA Barcoding: 8-Week Online Course

Do want to learn more about DNA Barcoding?

Are you interested in:

  • gaining an understanding of DNA-based species identification and discovery?
  • reviewing the historical framework for species identification and learning why DNA barcoding presents an advance in the identification of existing species and discovery of new species?
  • exploring barcode workflows and applications in food safety, pest and health management, bio-surveillance, habitat monitoring, ecology, and conservation biology and evolution?
  • finding out how DNA barcoding can be turned into relevant classroom experience for your  students?

downloadBIO and the University of Guelph offer an 8-week online Introduction to DNA Barcoding distance education program.  This international course brings together researchers, educators, government regulatory staff, graduate students, forensic staff, lab technicians, and museum collection staff to teach skills in DNA Barcoding and species identification and discovery.

Sign up and be part of a truly international learning experience that requires around 4-6h/week of your time.

Course Dates: June 1 to July 24, 2015. Registration is open until June 5.

#SMTPselfie – Share your Malaise Trap Selfie and your class could win a prize!!

Today the School Malaise Trap Program team decided to start a new trend…taking a selfie with your Malaise trap! We are also offering a prize to classes who enter a selfie (yup, you can enter more than one)! We encourage all classes to participate and post your #SMTPselfie on our blog or tweet at us (@SMTP_Canada). You can also email us your selfie and we will post it on your behalf. Once a class has submitted their selfie, they will be entered into a draw for one of our prizes! Further prize details to come.

Check out our #SMTPselfie below!

St. Paul Elementary School

St. Paul Elementary School is located in South Burlington, Ontario. Our trap has been deployed in the back of the schoolyard in a field where the students play during recess.  One side of the field is adjacent to houses, another side has a bike path, and the third side has a track.  Today was the third day that we monitored the trap.  

Currently we have a catch volume of about 1.5.  We have been very excited to check our collection bottle everyday. It contains a lot of very small flying insects, and at least one wasp and spider.

Catching Crane Flies at BIO!

Hello All,

Vanessa here! Today Emily and I went out to change the bottle on the Malaise trap that we have set up in front of the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario (BIO). We have had this trap out all summer and mainly use it for educational purposes, such as teaching school groups about insect trapping methods. The last time we changed the bottle was approximately two weeks ago and we were thrilled to see that the bottle was quite full!

Emily and I were quite curious about what we caught, so we decided to take a sneak peek. Peering into the bottle, we noticed an abundance of a large mosquito-like insect, commonly called a crane fly.


Crane flies come from the family Tipulidae and there are over 4,000 species found worldwide. Although they look like large mosquitoes, crane flies will not bite animals or humans. Crane flies will feed on nectar, or they will not eat at all; most adult crane flies will only mate then die. Because many species of crane flies are quite large and very abundant, they are easily preyed upon by birds, mammals, fishes, and other vertebrates, as well as by spiders and predacious insects.

C.C. Derek Parker Flickr Creative Commons
C.C. Derek Parker
Flickr Creative Commons

We are excited to hear about what you caught in your traps!

Forest Avenue Sets Up the Trap

Today our grade fours set up the trap at the front of the school.  We set it in front of our garden so that the bugs still had a flyway across and into it.  We’re excited.   Many of our co-participants have such varied landscapes ~ fields, ponds, etc.  It will be so interesting to compare the results!  Many thanks to Evergreen for sharing their creative barcoding art activity.  What a great way to bring the DNA concepts to one’s initial learning of it!

Malaise Trap in Mississauga, Ontario!
Malaise Trap in Mississauga, Ontario!

DNA Barcode Art

Grade Five students at Evergreen Elementary School in Drayton Valley have begun their study of biodiversity within Canadian ecosystems.

DNA bar code art (2)

On September 18, as an art project before deploying the trap, we made DNA barcodes of ourselves! Students made a list of their personal and physical qualities, such as strength, kindness, courage, flexibility, and gave each of their characteristics a colour. Using their chosen colours, they created a barcode to show their unique self.

The art project helped us to gain a better understanding of DNA barcoding, and it was a fun way to show who were are.

Forest Avenue Public School

We are also very excited about our first experience  with the BIO Malaise Trap Program.  Our grade four class intends to set up our trap in the butterfly garden at the front of the school.  What an amazing opportunity to learn how real world science works to inform us about the world around us!  We look forward to sharing how the experience unfolds for us.