Introduction

Andrea Bierema

Woman blowing away hearts from her hand. Hearts contain images from the textbook.

This “textbook” is interactive, meaning that although each chapter has text, they also have interactive HTML5 content, such as quizzes, simulations, interactive videos, and images with clickable hotspots. Students receive instant feedback when they complete the interactive content, and therefore, can learn and check their understanding all in one place. I still consider this textbook to be fairly text-heavy and will continue to make it even more interactive content!

The image on the cover and above represents the creation of this book. I pulled most of the content from open resources, modified them, added questions, and now offer them for you to use!

I chose the content to align with two courses that I teach: environmental and organismal applications and biomedical applications. Unit 1 introduces students to science, which both courses use. Unit 2 covers content necessary for understanding conservation implications (the underlying theme of the course is de-extinction), and Unit 3 focuses on proteins so that students can understand the implications of modifying DNA (the underlying theme is CRISPR).

The 2nd edition includes many updates, such as

  • Several more interactives in the “Nature of Science” and “Scientific Controversies” chapters.
  • A “sexual selection” section in the “Evolution” chapter.
  • Two new chapters: “Reproduction” (unit 2) and “Cell Signaling” (unit 3).
  • Additional chapters updated include: “Information Communication,” “Stakeholders,” “Bibliographies,” “Species Interactions,” “Protein Structure and Function,” “Gene Expression Overview,” and “Genetic Engineering.”
  • More specific image alternative text and captions.

The sexual selection section and reproduction chapters were created while following inclusivity suggestions from Biodiversify.

Please use this book as you see fit for your classes. I look forward to hearing how to make this book even more useful in the future!