Integrative Biology

Integrative Biology 35AC & 190 - 'Human Biological Variation'

Instructors: Leslea Hlusko and Tesla Monson 
Semesters Offered: Spring 2015 - Present

One of the world’s top ten most widely read websites, with approximately 550 million unique visitors per month, Wikipedia articles are often the number one hit when using a search browser. However, Wikimedia’s race and gender trouble are well-documented. While the reasons for the gap are up for debate, the practical effect of this disparity is not: content is skewed by the lack of participation by women and people of color. The result is an alarming absence in an important repository of shared knowledge. Integrative Biology (IB) 35AC addresses this disparity through student engagement.

In IB 35AC, students are exposed to modern human biological variation from historical, comparative, evolutionary, biomedical, and cultural perspectives.  It is designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of comparative biology, evolutionary theory, and genetics.  A sound understanding of the biology that underlies human variation is essential for grasping the superimposed concepts of ethnicity and self-identity.  As such, this course provides an essential foundation for understanding which components of human variation are biological and which are cultural, and how they have affected each other during the course of our evolution. 

IB 190, 'The Wikipedia Project'

In spring 2016, Leslea Hlusko selected eleven undergraduates who completed IB 35AC in fall 2015 to participate in a special seminar, IB 190, 'The Wikipedia Project.' These undergraduates significantly developed previously existing Wikipedia pages on Natural Fertility; Race and Health; and Transgender in Sports.

In addition, these students began to develop month-long projects as peer mentors for students that would subsequently enroll in IB 35AC in fall 2016. Throughout fall 2016, students from IB 190 mentored students during the fall who were taking IB 35AC to carry out these projects. IB 190 students presented on these projects in late fall 2016, which was captured in the following recording. To learn more about the Wikipedia Project, please visit this website.

Integrative Biology 35AC - Student Presentations Fall 2016

Student Developed Wikipedia Pages (IB 35AC & IB 190)

Since spring 2016, students in IB 35AC have had the opportunity in each discussion section to edit a Wikipedia article on a topic related to the course. Students are trained to be a Wikipedian and developed the skills (and hopefully the motivation) to share their Berkeley-gained knowledge with the world through the improvement of Wikipedia.

Please review the following examples of Wikipedia pages that students created or significantly developed in IB 35AC and IB 190.