Urban Barcode Research Program
Required Courses

Students who complete both of the following courses during the 2023-2024 school year or summer 2024 will be eligible to apply to UBRP in Fall 2024. Courses are free and will be offered after school and in Summer 2024.

There are no courses scheduled at this time. Please check back in January 2024.

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.