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A Colorful Picnic with Photosynthetic Pathways and RuBisCO on the Menu

In this interrupted case study developed for use in a flipped classroom, students read about a picnic that takes place in autumn during the peak of ...


Aisles of Confusion

In addition to traditional nutrition facts and ingredients, current food packaging frequently includes a wide variety of additional labels includin ...


All That Glitters May Not Be Gold

In this decision case, a congressional staffer must weigh a number of competing concerns and issues, including popular reactions to genetically mod ...


Banana Split: To Eat or Not to Eat

This case focuses on the banana, the most popular fruit in the world.  In the first part of the case, students are introduced to the history o ...


Butterflies in the Stomach

Why is the North American population of monarch butterflies declining? In 1999, a study published in the journal Nature suggested that a v ...


Cauldron of Democracy

This case study explores the controversy surrounding Yellowstone bison (Bison bison) and the relationship between wildlife management and ...


Certified Cultured Beef

In this case study, students are introduced to concepts and techniques in modern biotechnology, as well as the possible implications of this emergi ...


Corn Ethanol Debate

To what extent should corn be used for the production of ethanol? Are we better off producing corn for food or producing corn for fuel? This case s ...


Could Grazing Be Dangerous? Ask the Cows!

This case study introduces important issues related to invasive species and noxious weeds that have particular ecological and agricultural importan ...


Do You Really Know What You're Eating?

Starting from a fictional “news” report about an apparent allergic reaction to a taco tainted by genetically modified corn, students co ...


Experimental Design and Statistical Analysis

This case is based on a research paper about the lignin content of genetically modified corn published in the American Journal of Botany. ...


Farming in Space

If you were limited to choosing only three crops to sustainably farm in an arid, inhospitable environment, what would they be and how would you dec ...


Farmville Future?

Life has changed for the rural residents of Farmville County since the arrival of four concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs); the air has ...


Fields of Gold

Can plants be used to “strike it rich”? In this journal case study, students examine published research on the use of trees to search f ...


Fishing Midst the Morning Dew

In this case study, “Tatiana,” a college student, introduces psychrometry to her younger brother as she explains the physical phenomeno ...


Frankenfoods?

This discussion case, in which a university research laboratory is vandalized by environmental activists opposed to genetic engineering, focuses on ...


From Prairies to Corn Fields for Fuel

With increasing U.S. government support for biofuel production in the late 2000s came increased pressure to convert more land to cornfields for eth ...


Golden Rice

In this intimate debate case, students consider whether to support the development and use of Golden Rice as a means to alleviate vitamin A deficie ...


Is High Fructose Corn Syrup Bad for the Apple Industry?

In this interrupted case, students analyze a peer-reviewed article and apply the scientific method to solve an agricultural mystery. A fictional ap ...


Joel E. Greengiant Learns About Peas

This case study follows purveyors of peas, Joel E. and Jolene Greengiant, as they learn about the origin, biochemistry, genetics and eventual artif ...


Living Downstream

In this case, developed for a course in Issues in Environmental Biology, students learn that water samples collected from a local river show elevat ...


Of Silt and Ancient Voices

This case explores the complex and multifaceted resource management issues that arose when traditional Zuni Indian land and water use practices wer ...


Organic Food

Currently there is considerable confusion surrounding the use of the term "organic" as applied to food and other consumer products, but within the ...


Pesticides

By simulating a public hearing, this case study requires that students sift through and organize information on pesticide use presented to them fro ...


Prairie Garden of Troubles

This "clicker case" was developed for a general biology course for non-majors. It focuses on prairie habitat ecology and restoration. Jim, a young ...


Revolt of the Fungus People

This interrupted case study for the flipped classroom examines the interaction of plants and their mycorrhizal partners. The latter is one of the m ...


Seeds of Dissension

A possible act of industrial espionage is the backdrop for this case study, which introduces students to analytical techniques routinely used in mo ...


Sweet Beets: Making Sugar Out of Thin Air

This directed case study introduces students to photosynthesis and illustrates how biology plays a vital role in the carbon cycle and the conversio ...


The Buzz about Colony Collapse Disorder

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), the widespread loss of honeybees, has devastating repercussions for the environment, industry, and the economy. Thi ...


The Canadian Canola Controversy

This case study reviews a controversial court case that took place in Canada in 2002 concerning an allegation of patent infringement and a genetica ...


The Case of the Missing Bees

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has claimed approximately one-third of the commercial honeybee population in recent years. A number of causes have b ...


The Case of the Tainted Taco Shells: Advanced Edition

This case discusses some of the issues associated with the use of genetically modified plants, including ecological risks, resistance, and allergen ...


The Case of the Tainted Taco Shells: General Edition

This case discusses some of the issues associated with the use of genetically modified plants, including ecological risks, resistance, and allergen ...


The Deforestation of the Amazon

In this case study, students examine tropical deforestation in the Amazon from the perspective of three dominant stakeholders in the region: a peas ...


The Demise of the Forest People

In this case study, the complexity of the Malaysian palm oil industry is examined through the perspective of various stakeholders, namely, villager ...


The Modern Caveman’s Dilemma

During the Paleolithic era, human life expectancy was only 33 years—roughly half of what it is today. We owe our more extended lives in part ...


The Poop on Composting

This interrupted case study tells the story of Miles, a freshman in college, who volunteers to help with the composting program on campus. Miles is ...


The Value of a Wetland

This case study introduces students to the elements of a renewable resource management project. The issue of wetland drainage, for the purpose of i ...


Too Hot to Trot?

This interrupted case study looks at heat stress through the eyes of “Nelly,” a chatty, country Holstein. Although focusing on dairy ca ...


Torn at the Genes

The setting for this case is the family dinner table, where a heated discussion about genetically altered foods is taking place. Marsha Cumberland& ...


Tougher Plants

This "clicker case" follows two recent college graduates as they look for scientific answers to explain why the plants on their new tomato farm are ...


Unintended Consequences of Plant Domestication on Plant-Insect Interactions

This case study investigates how plant domestication sometimes produces unintended consequences for plant-insect interactions. The narrative follow ...


Unsustainable Use of the High Plains Aquifer

This case spotlights Great Plains water shortages by focusing on the High Plains Aquifer. This groundwater reservoir provides nearly a third of gro ...