Urban Barcode Research Program
Required Courses

Conservation Genetics

Conservation genetics is the field that seeks to use DNA to study and protect the living world and its biodiversity. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the leading international conservation body, recognizes the crucial need to conserve genetic diversity as one of the three fundamental levels of biodiversity.

The main goal of this course is to introduce students to methods used to study and preserve biodiversity. Laboratory techniques introduced include DNA sequencing and DNA fingerprinting. Students learn how DNA science can be used to determine species distribution patterns, to propagate endangered species in captivity, and more. By the end of the course, students write a proposal for their own conservation project, which they present to the class.

DNA Barcoding and Bioinformatics

In this course, students explore a cutting edge methodology that has helped scientists all over the world identify and study biodiversity: DNA barcoding. This technique can be applied to explore and answer questions in many fields of science: Does the leather used to make this purse, belt, or wallet come from an endangered, illegally harvested species? Does the bug I found in my room cause health problems? Are the plants growing in my backyard native or invasive species? Students in this course have the opportunity to participate in hands-on labs to learn the basics of DNA barcoding. They also learn basic concepts in ecology, biodiversity, and conservation biology.

DNALC COVID-19 Safety Net: The DNALC is committed to providing a safe place for hands-on science. Depending on prevailing circumstances and CDC and New York State Health Department guidelines, our COVID-19 Safety Net provides for distanced workstations, individual equipment, daily health surveys, and fully vaccinated instructors. Staff and students at in-person camps must comply to Safety Net guidelines in place at the time of the camp.

View the current DNALC COVID-19 Safety Net procedures. Updates to these procedures have been incorporated for summer 2021. Please be aware of the following important revisions:

  1. Camp attendees must be either fully vaccinated OR receive a negative COVID-19 test result within 5 days of the start of camp. Parents/Guardians must provide EITHER proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (defined as two weeks after the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccination or two weeks after the second shot of the two-shot Moderna or Pfizer vaccine) OR proof of a negative COVID-19 test (rapid or PCR) performed within 5 days of the start of camp.
    Proof of vaccination or COVID-19 negative test can be shared with the DNALC by uploading an image of the document through a link that will be emailed the week before camp, any time before or by 8:00 PM on the Sunday prior to the camp start.
    If one of these documents is not received before the first morning of camp , your child will not be allowed to participate.
  2. DNALC staff vaccination policy: For the safety of our visitors, we now require that ALL employees of the DNALC be fully vaccinated (as defined above) for COVID-19.

Specific health screening information for courses held at the Harlem DNA Lab will be sent to participants by email.

2021 Course Schedule

UBRP Prep Courses

Conservation Genetics

DNALC NYC
at City Tech

July 12–16

Monday to Friday,
10:00 am–3:00 pm

DNA Barcoding and Bioinformatics

DNALC NYC
at City Tech

July 19–23

Monday to Friday,
10:00 am–3:00 pm

Conservation Genetics

Harlem DNA Lab

July 19 and July 21–23
[no class July 20]

Monday, Wednesday to Friday,
9:30 am–3:00 pm

Conservation Genetics

DNALC NYC
at City Tech

July 26–30

Monday to Friday,
10:00 am–3:00 pm

DNA Barcoding and Bioinformatics

Harlem DNA Lab

July 26–30

Monday to Friday,
10:00 am–3:00 pm

DNA Barcoding and Bioinformatics

DNALC NYC
at City Tech

Aug 2–6

Monday to Friday,
10:00 am–3:00 pm

Conservation Genetics

Harlem DNA Lab

Aug 2–6

Monday to Friday,
10:00 am–3:00 pm

Conservation Genetics

DNALC NYC
at City Tech

Aug 9–13

Monday to Friday,
10:00 am–3:00 pm

DNA Barcoding and Bioinformatics

Harlem DNA Lab

Aug 9–13

Monday to Friday,
10:00 am–3:00 pm

DNA Barcoding and Bioinformatics

DNALC NYC
at City Tech

Aug 16–20

Monday to Friday,
10:00 am–3:00 pm

UBRP course locations

UBRP courses and lab bootcamps (for students who participated in virtual courses) will take place at the following locations:

Harlem DNA Lab: John S. Roberts Educational Complex (J.H.S. 45), 2351 First Avenue (at 120th Street), East Harlem, New York 10035 [directions]

DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech: 62 Tillary Street (Entrance at the corner of Tillary and Adams Streets), New York 112014 [directions]