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April 8, 2021

5:00pm Zoom

EcoEvoPub Seminar Series
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCLA

" Graduate Student Presentations "

Ben Hà

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCLA, Jacobs Lab


The Effect of Drawing in a Restoration Ecology Course: A quantitative and qualitative analysis


The effect of drawing activities on learning has been studied across various education levels, with a particular focus on K-12 and undergraduates. Most of these studies have traditionally assessed drawing as an intervention to investigate how it influences learning terminology and/or concepts. Given that there are positive associations between drawing and learning, my project investigates if drawing activities are used as a study tool by undergraduates in STEM higher education and how drawing may be related to academic performance on a midterm. Using a mixed-methods approach, I conducted pre and post surveys in a Restoration Ecology course with 47 enrolled undergraduates to understand their study behavior. I also compared the scores and responses from an open-ended midterm between students who chose to draw (drawers) vs students who did not draw (non-drawers). Results show that students used their notes and lecture slides more frequently than drawing activities to study for a midterm. At the same time, results also indicate that drawers on the midterm significantly scored higher than non-drawers, which suggests that drawing is related to midterm score. Preliminary qualitative analysis suggests that drawers also used different types of words on their midterm responses compared to non-drawers. These results have implications for encouraging educators in biology higher education to incorporate drawing into their teaching strategies and that drawing on a midterm may yield positive outcomes for undergraduate academic performance.


Maddie Zuercher

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCLA, Grether and Shier Labs


Menstruation in the field


Many field research trips and jobs involve long stretches in isolated areas without restroom access. These circumstances can make menstruation in the field quite complicated even without a plethora of existing stigmas, misinformation, and inequities. This issue is rarely addressed specifically to field researchers; periods are often treated as a personal issue and thus not clearly, openly discussed like any other health concerns. While Wikihow and REI articles such as “Girl Talk: How to Handle Your Period in the Backcountry” are helpful to some, our community needs to thoroughly address menstruation in the field. Menstrual products must be included in first-aid kits and information must be distributed to all members of the research team. Menstruators can benefit from learning about products and Leave-No-Trace friendly methods of menstrual waste disposal. I also encourage non-menstruators to join this discussion and learn how to support their field teams. By increasing awareness and preparing for menstruation, we can improve the health, wellbeing, and confidence of menstruators in the field.