How to Use This Book - Biology

How to Use This Book - Biology

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This book is a collection of stories from the field and resources for new and intermediate beekeepers interwoven with my own experience as a beekeeper over the last decade.

As much as possible in this text, we aim to avoid unnecessary jargon or lingo. So, it doesn’t require a master’s degree to decipher. The goal is to make the beekeeping stories, tools and strategies accessible, and to share practices and examples of all the lessons we can learn from the hive. The intention is that the resources will be adapted or inspire you to co-create new resources.

How to use this book:

  • Start wherever you want! This book doesn’t require you to start at the top of the Table of Contents and linearly work your way through to the end
  • Find tools and resources to start or continue on your beekeeping journey
  • Learn about what small-scale beekeepers are doing in their communities
  • Read and share stories of the growing landscape of beekeepers who are women, femmes and/or people of color (POC)
  • Refer to it as a reference guide
  • Discuss lessons learned from the hive (i.e. building consensus) in your community and how you can apply these lessons to build networks of collective care and shared power
  • Or use these tools to adapt new tools with co-collaborators
  • Imagine how you’d use the concepts in your life/lives
  • Try a practice
  • Set a goal
  • Share your new ideas or practice with a friend
  • And with a community member
  • Use it as a strategizing tool with your team/community/friends/think tank/group
  • Use it to research, honor and learn about other people’s work (see “inspirations”)

I want to travel and talk about this book and about organizing and intention setting tools I’ve adapted from the hive; share my bee zines; talk about queering bees; read a section from my Radicalize the Hive Manifesto or talk about beekeeping. I’d love to gather the stories of beekeepers, ecologists and queer land dwellers. If you can host me, let’s chat. Email [email protected] or [email protected] or find me on Instagram, @theykeepbees. Zzb zzb!

How to make biology lessons visual and interactive

Many years ago, when I still was a student, biology was not my favourite subject to learn. And this is a bit surprising since I’m genuinely interested in science, nature, wildlife and animals. “Planet Earth” Narrated by Sir David Attenborough is my all time favourite of wildlife movies.

So I was wondering, what would have tricked me as a little boy to be more involved and engaged in biology lessons.

Here are 5 my attempts:

Outline of procedures

Choosing a notebook

For most purposes you may select a bound notebook, quadrille-ruled. A teaching lab may require tear-out duplicate pages for making carbon copies. An engineering or industrial research/development lab will likely require a specific type notebook with prenumbered pages and places for date and investigator's and supervisor's signatures on each page. Pads of tear-out graph paper or spiral bound notebooks without pre-numbered pages are not acceptable. It must be impossible to tear out a page without leaving evidence. It is safest to select something that is clearly labeled as a laboratory notebook.

Preparing the Notebook

Please use a ball point pen for all entries, so that the marks will not smear nor will they be erasable.

Put your name, a telephone number and/or address, and project name or course number on the outside front cover of the record. Put that same information on the first page inside, or on the inside front cover. If your notebook does not include a prelabeled table of contents section, then reserve the next several pages for a table of contents by labeling the top of each page as Table of Contents and numbering each page. If your notebook does not have prenumbered pages, you may wish to use lower case Roman numerals, as in a standard publication. Next, number the next several pages with Arabic numerals in sequence, and you are ready to begin recording data.

What to enter

Above all, it is critical that you enter all procedures and data directly into your notebook in a timely manner, that is, while you are conducting the actual work. Your entries must be sufficiently detailed so that you or someone else could conduct any procedure with only the notebook as a guide. Few students (and not that many researchers for that matter) record sufficiently detailed and organized information. The most logical organization of notebook entries is chronological. If a proper chronological record is kept and co-signed by a coworker or supervisior, it is a legally valid record. Such a record is necessary if you or your employer are to keep your rights to your discoveries.

Depending on requirements set by a teacher, superivsor, company, or whatever, you may not have to confine your notebook entries to lab notes only. On the other hand a student might record your class lecture notes, lab lecture notes, ideas, questions, library research notes, and notes that are part of any pre-lab preparation. The bare minimum entries for an academic lab course, for each lab study, should include title of the lab study introduction and objectives detailed procedures and data (recorded in the lab itself) summary.

We usually record a lot more information in a laboratory notebook than we would report in a research paper. For example, in a published article we don't report centrifuge type, rpm, rotor type, or which machine was used. However, if a procedure is unsuccessful you may want to check to see that you used the correct rpm or correct rotor. Perhaps the centrifuge itself was miscalibrated. You would need to know which machine you used. In a research paper one does not report which person performed which tasks, because such information is useless to a third party. However in the notebook it is important to note who was responsible for what procedure. Again, you may need such information to troubleshoot your experiments.

Making entries

Someone else may need to consult your notebook sometime, so please make your entries clear and legible.

When you make your first entries of the day, start by entering the date, writing out the month or abbreviation for the month (e.g., 5 Apr '04, or April 5, 2004, but not 4/5/04). The use of numerals only can cause confusion. For example, in Europe the day comes before the month. Thus April 5, 2004 would be written as 5/4/04. When you start each new page of a notebook enter the date next to the page number. Each page should be numbered and dated consistently. Most of us use the upper right corner of each page for date and page number.

Depending on how your notebook is designed you may choose whether or not to use the backs of pages. If you leave them blank, put a corner-to-corner line through them to void all blank spaces. Some people use the backs for rough calculations, then void remaining blank space. You might also decide to save space (and trees) and use both sides of each page. Obviously you cannot use both sides with notebooks that are designed to make duplicate copies. In situations where you turn in duplicate copies to a supervisor, you obviously must start each new set of entries on a new page.

Write a title for each and every new set of entries. Distinct sets of entries should be separated by using informative headings and by leaving a single space or two between individual sets of entries. Specific information can be more readily located that way. For a new laboratory study, write down a very brief introduction to the study, and list the objectives. If you have a specific hypothesis, write it down. The object is to make it completely clear what you intend to do.

Record everything you do in the lab, even if you are following a published procedure. For example, if you started by obtaining a quantity of tissue from an instructor, then write down that you obtained tissue, describe it, note how much, what condition, etc. How much you write down is up to you, but any relevant information should be there. For example, it doesn't matter much if you received a chunk of liver in a red ice bucket or a black one. However, it does matter that the material was on ice. If you change a protocol in any way or decide between alternative methods, then the correct information must be recorded in the notebook. For example, a protocol for tissue fractionation may recommend centrifugation at 9400 x g, but we may decide to use 12,000 x g in the lab. The correct g force must be noted.

If you make a mistake, put a line through the mistake and write the new information next to it. Never erase or obliterate an entry. When you finish a page, put a corner-to corner line through any blank parts that could still be used for data entry. Every bit of every page must be legible and filled, either with information or with a mark that voids the section (see examples).

The summary

When you have finished a project, summarize what you have accomplished. You don't have to draw conclusions, just indicate what sort of data or observations you collected, samples you saved (and where and how you saved them), or any other relevant information that wraps up the study. For a continuing study keep the summary extremely brief. In fact, if the notes are well organized and it is obvious where the study left off, you need write nothing more than "To be continued. " Summaries help maintain continuity. They indicate where the work left off and how it might resume.


Doing two things at once?

Simply use your best judgment. You could divide each page into columns and keep your two records side-by-side. You might date two consecutive pages, keeping both records separately. In either case, when you leave the laboratory for the day cross out any unused parts of a page that precede the last entry.

Continuation pages

What if you need more than one page for a project? With continuing research, that will always be the case. Proper use of continuation notes makes it possible to follow your path through a long experiment or series of experiments without having to leaf through every page of your notebook.

For example, let's say you labeled some protein samples with the radioisotope S-35, ran a gel, and placed the gel in a film cassette in order to produce an autoradiograph. During the two days your film is in the freezer, you devote all of your time to a cloning project that is part of an unrelated study. After you put your film cassette in the freezer, simply write Continued, page ___ , then enter the date and title of your other project, and continue to record information.

When you resume work on the protein samples, enter the date, write Continued from page ___ , and enter your autoradiography results. This way, everything you do in the laboratory is recorded chronologically, yet someone interested in following your progress could start from the beginning and follow every procedure on just that one study, from start to finish.

Are things getting too sloppy?

Perhaps your data records are scattered throughout the notebook, and you would like to summarize them. Go ahead. You may re-enter tables or figures any time you wish to organize your work a bit better. To prevent confusion over duplication of data you may put a line through a table or figure you intend to re-draw, initial and date the change, and note the page on which the re-organized data can be found. Just don't obscure any of the original entry.

Repeated procedures

So far you have been advised to record each step you perform in the laboratory, regardless of whether the procedure is published somewhere. However, once you carry out a procedure, you can refer to that part of your notebook, and only note changes you make. For example, the first time you prepare a sequencing gel you should write down the exact formulation, how you mix the gel, how long you let it cure, etc. The next time, just refer to the name of the procedure and the appropriate page(s) of your notebook.

Loose materials

Suppose you enter raw data into a computer and have a printout with 400 pieces of data. Or, suppose you generate a graph using a software program. You might even have a silver-stained gel that you wish to refer to frequently, or a fluoroescence photomicrograph that sums up your results nicely. Some investigators prefer to attach such materials to the notebook itself, but too many such items make a sloppy notebook and can stress the binding. Loose data should be kept in a separate folder or notebook, with location noted in the book.

Table of Contents

Record all entries in the table of contents as you go along. You can organize it anyway you like but it is advisable to include multiple levels in a table of contents, that is, indicate where a new study starts and include subheadings for specific parts of a study, methods, sets of data, etc. The idea is to enable someone (such a supervisor, grader, or yourself a year from now) to find anything quickly. List each set of entries with dates and page numbers. If you are seriously anal-retentive, you might record every experiment in chronological order, then use the remaining blank space to cross reference the contents experiment by experiment.

For a teaching lab you might list each and every set of entries made in your notebook, in chronological order, including complete and informative titles. Examples of sets of entries include an introduction, a summary, a set of procedures for a specific preparation, a complete data set, calculations for diluting samples or preparing assay standards, etc. A grader should be able to find any specific entry quickly, without flipping through pages.

How to Use this Book

Bruce W. Fouke and Tom Murphy, Crystal Creek Press. 2016. 300 p.

This book is being provided as a gift to your library and science teachers as a means to share the ongoing results of our NASA and NSF sponsored research at Yellowstone with high school, university, continuing education and life-long learner classrooms. Activities and curricula materials, high-definition digital copies of figures, videos of Yellowstone fieldwork, and a 5-minute video lecture series can be downloaded at: The book also compliments our free Emergence of Life Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) available on the Coursera platform:

The book also compliments our free Emergence of Life Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) available on the Coursera platform:

Content – We hope that your faculty will consider using the following diagrams in their biology, chemistry, geology and other science courses. These figures contain our latest understandings and approaches, and can be used to supplement current state and federal content requirements.

1. Tree of Life p. 169 –this is the first illustration to fully integrate geological time, geological events, the Tree of Life, and the origin of life in deep seafloor spreading centers
2. Additional Tree of Life p. 150, 151 and 164 – these diagrams illustrate the differences between the most recent Tree of Life and previous versions currently used in textbooks
3. Molecular Phylogeny p. 142-185 – a history of the development of evolutionary theory and the advent of gene sequencing to the determine evolutionary relatedness of all of life
4. Powers of 10 p. 43 – provides key examples from the Yellowstone ecosystem that hierarchically span immense dimensions of space and time
5. Scientific Inquiry p. 64 – Scientific Method is graphically reconfigured into an endless spiraling process that tightens ever closer to truth and understanding nature
6. Deep Geological Time p. 194 – the entirety of deep geological time is simplified into only a handful of select ages, geological time intervals, and historical events

Summary of The Art of Yellowstone Science

Art and science both originate from the same human desire to understand the world within and around us. In the pages of this book, photographic art at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park is melded with cutting-edge natural sciences to search for common laws of nature through the power of observation and a willingness to embrace the unexpected. Biological evolution is the essential expression for this combination and Mammoth becomes a window on the universe, through which fundamental understandings of nature can be directly applied around the world and throughout the cosmos.

Book Distribution, Websites, Press Releases and Contact Information

Recommended Books on Microscopes

Dr. Georg Stehli, 1970 English edition translated from German, soft cover, 157 pages, b/w illustrations.

This is a more technical book (ages 12 and up) and spends time discussing the preparation of samples, and the variety of microscopic life found around us. This includes life in pond water, plants, animals and bacteria. The book is written in non-technical language but contains some technical concepts such as making thin slices of a specimen and fixing and dehydrating them before mounting as permanent slides.

Exploring With the Microscope

1995. Werner Nachtigall. Sterling Publishing. 160 pages, soft cover, full color.

Explore the tiny universes hidden within plants, animals, rocks and minerals, and uncover the wonders of working with a microscope. Learn about lenses and lighting and preparing specimens for study. See how to take photographs through a microscope and view intriguing sights. This is a very popular book and contains more complete and sophisticated information than most microscope books. Best for a motivated child from age 10 up.

The Microscope Book

1997, Shar Levine and Leslie Johnstone. Sterling Publishing.

Did you know there are fossils in your toothpaste? Have you ever seen the cells of an onion skin? Discover a whole new world before your eyes by looking into a microscope. Try dozens of experiments using things found around the house, from vegetables to rocks, fish to flowers. See the veins of a leaf and discover the tiny hooks that hold a feather togther. Get to know the parts of your microscope and how lenses work to make an image. For ages 9-12
80 pages, soft cover.

Fun with Your Microscope

1998, hardcover (a soft cover exists, 80 pages) Another book by Shar Levine and Leslie Johnstone.

There are many invisible things that, when under a microscope, spring to life! This book includes hands-on science experiments which illustrates microscope basics, wet mounts, smear and squash slides. It then shows a close up look at some things like bone marrow, cartilage, fur and the icky slime on your teeth in the morning. Full color photographs and illustrations.

Guide to Microlife

by Kenneth G. Rainis, Bruce J. Russell, soft cover, 288 pages, 1997

Another excellent (but expensive!) book on micro life. It concentrates mostly on aquatic life (protozoans and aquatic microanimals) but also contains sections on bacteria, microfungi and life found in soils and on vegetation. The excellent color microphotographs are the high point in this book even though the text is somewhat technical. (Ages 12 and up).

Adventures With a Microscope

A World in a Drop of Water : Exploring With a Microscope

by Alvin Silverstein, Virginia B. Silverstein
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback (September 1998)

Alvin Silverstein is an accomplished author of many books in science and health. Within every drop of pond water lurks an invisible world, alive with an amazing variety of microscopic animals. And with the help of this book and a microscope, you can bring these tiny creatures into focus and discover the ways in which they live. You'll trace the path of a blob-like amoeba as it stretches out its pseudopods to hunt and gobble up its prey, and you'll see the life-or-death water ballet of a slipper-shaped paramecium as it swims away from its mortal enemy, the pincushion-shaped suctorian. You'll also meet the euglena, classified as both plant and animal the rotifer, a creature with two wheels of whirling hairlike projections that help it move by squeezing in and out like an accordion and the incredible hydra, a fearsome bully that constantly threatens other small animals with its crown of grasping tentacles.

How to Know the Protozoa

by Theodore L. Jahn, soft cover, spiral bound, 1979

If you are studying single celled life found in fresh water then you should have this book! It's expensive but worth every penny. When the founder of our company created the three video series "The Protozoans", he relied on this book heavily for research. It includes valuable information and many black and white illustrations of literally hundreds of fresh water protozoa.

Microscopes and Magnifying Lenses

Hidden Worlds: Looking Through a Scientist’s Microscope

by Stephen Kramer (Author) and Dennis Kunkel (Photographer)

Dennis Kunkel has been photographing microscopic worlds for over 25 years. This book shows images from scanning electron microscopes of everyday items such as a mosquito’s foot, pollen, a blade of grass, and sugar crystals. In the book Hidden Worlds Dennis explains how he captures his microscopic images, how he prepares his samples, and how different types of microscopes operate. This book follows Dennis as he collects samples in the field from Mount St. Helens to Hawaii.

Modern Microscopy: A Handbook for Beginners and Students

by M.I. Cross, Martin J Cole, published in 1922

This is a classic microscopy book that is useful for students and beginners exploring the use of a microscope. The book is broken into two parts:

  1. The Microscope, and Instructions for its Use
  2. Microscopic Objects: How Prepared and Mounted

Fundamentals of Light Microscopy and Electronic Imaging (Second Edition)

by Douglas B. Murphy and Michael W. Davidson

This book is recommended for graduate students, researchers getting started in the field of microscopy, as well as researchers and professionals. The book describes the hardware of the system, while also explaining the physics principles of microscopy on a simplistic level for basic biologists. The book is a mix of theory and methods. PowerPoint slides of the artwork from the book can be found here.

Illustrated Guide to Home Biology Experiments

by Robert Bruce Thompson and Barbara Fritchman Thompson

This book is great for middle school and high school students looking for educational and fun experiments. This guide teaches you the basics of biology lab work and shows you how to set up a safe lab at home. Homeschoolers as well as hobbyists can use this book to learn biology at home.

Watch the video: Heart Dissection GCSE A Level Biology NEET Practical Skills (February 2023).