skip to main content

Title: Unveiling the nature of a miniature world: a horizon scan of fundamental questions in bryology
Introduction. Half a century since the creation of the International Association of Bryologists, we carried out a review to identify outstanding challenges and future perspectives in bryology. Specifically, we have identified 50 fundamental questions that are critical in advancing the discipline. Methods. We have adapted a deep-rooted methodology of horizon scanning to identify key research foci. An initial pool of 258 questions was prepared by a multidisciplinary and international working group of 32 bryologists. A series of online surveys completed by a broader community of researchers in bryology, followed by quality-control steps implemented by the working group, were used to create a list of top-priority questions. This final list was restricted to 50 questions with a broad conceptual scope and answerable through realistic research approaches. Key results. The top list of 50 fundamental questions was organised into four general topics: Bryophyte Biodiversity and Biogeography; Bryophyte Ecology, Physiology and Reproductive Biology; Bryophyte Conservation and Management; and Bryophyte Evolution and Systematics. These topics included 9, 19, 14 and 8 questions, respectively. Conclusions. Although many of the research challenges identified are not newly conceived, our horizon-scanning exercise has established a significant foundation for future bryological research. We suggest analytical and conceptual strategies and novel more » developments for potential use in advancing the research agenda for bryology. « less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; more » ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; « less
Award ID(s):
1753811
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10336707
Journal Name:
Journal of bryology
Volume:
41
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
1 - 34
ISSN:
1743-2820
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. International collaboration between collections, aggregators, and researchers within the biodiversity community and beyond is becoming increasingly important in our efforts to support biodiversity, conservation and the life of the planet. The social, technical, logistical and financial aspects of an equitable biodiversity data landscape – from workforce training and mobilization of linked specimen data, to data integration, use and publication – must be considered globally and within the context of a growing biodiversity crisis. In recent years, several initiatives have outlined paths forward that describe how digital versions of natural history specimens can be extended and linked with associated data. In the United States, Webster (2017) presented the “extended specimen”, which was expanded upon by Lendemer et al. (2019) through the work of the Biodiversity Collections Network (BCoN). At the same time, a “digital specimen” concept was developed by DiSSCo in Europe (Hardisty 2020). Both the extended and digital specimen concepts depict a digital proxy of an analog natural history specimen, whose digital nature provides greater capabilities such as being machine-processable, linkages with associated data, globally accessible information-rich biodiversity data, improved tracking, attribution and annotation, additional opportunities for data use and cross-disciplinary collaborations forming the basis for FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable,more »Reproducible) and equitable sharing of benefits worldwide, and innumerable other advantages, with slight variation in how an extended or digital specimen model would be executed. Recognizing the need to align the two closely-related concepts, and to provide a place for open discussion around various topics of the Digital Extended Specimen (DES; the current working name for the joined concepts), we initiated a virtual consultation on the discourse platform hosted by the Alliance for Biodiversity Knowledge through GBIF. This platform provided a forum for threaded discussions around topics related and relevant to the DES. The goals of the consultation align with the goals of the Alliance for Biodiversity Knowledge: expand participation in the process, build support for further collaboration, identify use cases, identify significant challenges and obstacles, and develop a comprehensive roadmap towards achieving the vision for a global specification for data integration. In early 2021, Phase 1 launched with five topics: Making FAIR data for specimens accessible; Extending, enriching and integrating data; Annotating specimens and other data; Data attribution; and Analyzing/mining specimen data for novel applications. This round of full discussion was productive and engaged dozens of contributors, with hundreds of posts and thousands of views. During Phase 1, several deeper, more technical, or additional topics of relevance were identified and formed the foundation for Phase 2 which began in May 2021 with the following topics: Robust access points and data infrastructure alignment; Persistent identifier (PID) scheme(s); Meeting legal/regulatory, ethical and sensitive data obligations; Workforce capacity development and inclusivity; Transactional mechanisms and provenance; and Partnerships to collaborate more effectively. In Phase 2 fruitful progress was made towards solutions to some of these complex functional and technical long-term goals. Simultaneously, our commitment to open participation was reinforced, through increased efforts to involve new voices from allied and complementary fields. Among a wealth of ideas expressed, the community highlighted the need for unambiguous persistent identifiers and a dedicated agent to assign them, support for a fully linked system that includes robust publishing mechanisms, strong support for social structures that build trustworthiness of the system, appropriate attribution of legacy and new work, a system that is inclusive, removed from colonial practices, and supportive of creative use of biodiversity data, building a truly global data infrastructure, balancing open access with legal obligations and ethical responsibilities, and the partnerships necessary for success. These two consultation periods, and the myriad activities surrounding the online discussion, produced a wide variety of perspectives, strategies, and approaches to converging the digital and extended specimen concepts, and progressing plans for the DES -- steps necessary to improve access to research-ready data to advance our understanding of the diversity and distribution of life. Discussions continue and we hope to include your contributions to the DES in future implementation plans.« less
  2. Abstract

    Quantitative systems pharmacology (QSP) modeling is applied to address essential questions in drug development, such as the mechanism of action of a therapeutic agent and the progression of disease. Meanwhile, machine learning (ML) approaches also contribute to answering these questions via the analysis of multi-layer ‘omics’ data such as gene expression, proteomics, metabolomics, and high-throughput imaging. Furthermore, ML approaches can also be applied to aspects of QSP modeling. Both approaches are powerful tools and there is considerable interest in integrating QSP modeling and ML. So far, a few successful implementations have been carried out from which we have learned about how each approach can overcome unique limitations of the other. The QSP + ML working group of the International Society of Pharmacometrics QSP Special Interest Group was convened in September, 2019 to identify and begin realizing new opportunities in QSP and ML integration. The working group, which comprises 21 members representing 18 academic and industry organizations, has identified four categories of current research activity which will be described herein together with case studies of applications to drug development decision making. The working group also concluded that the integration of QSP and ML is still in its early stages of moving frommore »evaluating available technical tools to building case studies. This paper reports on this fast-moving field and serves as a foundation for future codification of best practices.

    « less
  3. Need/Motivation (e.g., goals, gaps in knowledge) The ESTEEM implemented a STEM building capacity project through students’ early access to a sustainable and innovative STEM Stepping Stones, called Micro-Internships (MI). The goal is to reap key benefits of a full-length internship and undergraduate research experiences in an abbreviated format, including access, success, degree completion, transfer, and recruiting and retaining more Latinx and underrepresented students into the STEM workforce. The MIs are designed with the goals to provide opportunities for students at a community college and HSI, with authentic STEM research and applied learning experiences (ALE), support for appropriate STEM pathway/career, preparation and confidence to succeed in STEM and engage in summer long REUs, and with improved outcomes. The MI projects are accessible early to more students and build momentum to better overcome critical obstacles to success. The MIs are shorter, flexibly scheduled throughout the year, easily accessible, and participation in multiple MI is encouraged. ESTEEM also establishes a sustainable and collaborative model, working with partners from BSCS Science Education, for MI’s mentor, training, compliance, and building capacity, with shared values and practices to maximize the improvement of student outcomes. New Knowledge (e.g., hypothesis, research questions) Research indicates that REU/internship experiences canmore »be particularly powerful for students from Latinx and underrepresented groups in STEM. However, those experiences are difficult to access for many HSI-community college students (85% of our students hold off-campus jobs), and lack of confidence is a barrier for a majority of our students. The gap between those who can and those who cannot is the “internship access gap.” This project is at a central California Community College (CCC) and HSI, the only affordable post-secondary option in a region serving a historically underrepresented population in STEM, including 75% Hispanic, and 87% have not completed college. MI is designed to reduce inequalities inherent in the internship paradigm by providing access to professional and research skills for those underserved students. The MI has been designed to reduce barriers by offering: shorter duration (25 contact hours); flexible timing (one week to once a week over many weeks); open access/large group; and proximal location (on-campus). MI mentors participate in week-long summer workshops and ongoing monthly community of practice with the goal of co-constructing a shared vision, engaging in conversations about pedagogy and learning, and sustaining the MI program going forward. Approach (e.g., objectives/specific aims, research methodologies, and analysis) Research Question and Methodology: We want to know: How does participation in a micro-internship affect students’ interest and confidence to pursue STEM? We used a mixed-methods design triangulating quantitative Likert-style survey data with interpretive coding of open-responses to reveal themes in students’ motivations, attitudes toward STEM, and confidence. Participants: The study sampled students enrolled either part-time or full-time at the community college. Although each MI was classified within STEM, they were open to any interested student in any major. Demographically, participants self-identified as 70% Hispanic/Latinx, 13% Mixed-Race, and 42 female. Instrument: Student surveys were developed from two previously validated instruments that examine the impact of the MI intervention on student interest in STEM careers and pursuing internships/REUs. Also, the pre- and post (every e months to assess longitudinal outcomes) -surveys included relevant open response prompts. The surveys collected students’ demographics; interest, confidence, and motivation in pursuing a career in STEM; perceived obstacles; and past experiences with internships and MIs. 171 students responded to the pre-survey at the time of submission. Outcomes (e.g., preliminary findings, accomplishments to date) Because we just finished year 1, we lack at this time longitudinal data to reveal if student confidence is maintained over time and whether or not students are more likely to (i) enroll in more internships, (ii) transfer to a four-year university, or (iii) shorten the time it takes for degree attainment. For short term outcomes, students significantly Increased their confidence to continue pursuing opportunities to develop within the STEM pipeline, including full-length internships, completing STEM degrees, and applying for jobs in STEM. For example, using a 2-tailed t-test we compared means before and after the MI experience. 15 out of 16 questions that showed improvement in scores were related to student confidence to pursue STEM or perceived enjoyment of a STEM career. Finding from the free-response questions, showed that the majority of students reported enrolling in the MI to gain knowledge and experience. After the MI, 66% of students reported having gained valuable knowledge and experience, and 35% of students spoke about gaining confidence and/or momentum to pursue STEM as a career. Broader Impacts (e.g., the participation of underrepresented minorities in STEM; development of a diverse STEM workforce, enhanced infrastructure for research and education) The ESTEEM project has the potential for a transformational impact on STEM undergraduate education’s access and success for underrepresented and Latinx community college students, as well as for STEM capacity building at Hartnell College, a CCC and HSI, for students, faculty, professionals, and processes that foster research in STEM and education. Through sharing and transfer abilities of the ESTEEM model to similar institutions, the project has the potential to change the way students are served at an early and critical stage of their higher education experience at CCC, where one in every five community college student in the nation attends a CCC, over 67% of CCC students identify themselves with ethnic backgrounds that are not White, and 40 to 50% of University of California and California State University graduates in STEM started at a CCC, thus making it a key leverage point for recruiting and retaining a more diverse STEM workforce.« less
  4. Introduction and Theoretical Frameworks Our study draws upon several theoretical foundations to investigate and explain the educational experiences of Black students majoring in ME, CpE, and EE: intersectionality, critical race theory, and community cultural wealth theory. Intersectionality explains how gender operates together with race, not independently, to produce multiple, overlapping forms of discrimination and social inequality (Crenshaw, 1989; Collins, 2013). Critical race theory recognizes the unique experiences of marginalized groups and strives to identify the micro- and macro-institutional sources of discrimination and prejudice (Delgado & Stefancic, 2001). Community cultural wealth integrates an asset-based perspective to our analysis of engineering education to assist in the identification of factors that contribute to the success of engineering students (Yosso, 2005). These three theoretical frameworks are buttressed by our use of Racial Identity Theory, which expands understanding about the significance and meaning associated with students’ sense of group membership. Sellers and colleagues (1997) introduced the Multidimensional Model of Racial Identity (MMRI), in which they indicated that racial identity refers to the “significance and meaning that African Americans place on race in defining themselves” (p. 19). The development of this model was based on the reality that individuals vary greatly in the extent to whichmore »they attach meaning to being a member of the Black racial group. Sellers et al. (1997) posited that there are four components of racial identity: 1. Racial salience: “the extent to which one’s race is a relevant part of one’s self-concept at a particular moment or in a particular situation” (p. 24). 2. Racial centrality: “the extent to which a person normatively defines himself or herself with regard to race” (p. 25). 3. Racial regard: “a person’s affective or evaluative judgment of his or her race in terms of positive-negative valence” (p. 26). This element consists of public regard and private regard. 4. Racial ideology: “composed of the individual’s beliefs, opinions and attitudes with respect to the way he or she feels that the members of the race should act” (p. 27). The resulting 56-item inventory, the Multidimensional Inventory of Black Identity (MIBI), provides a robust measure of Black identity that can be used across multiple contexts. Research Questions Our 3-year, mixed-method study of Black students in computer (CpE), electrical (EE) and mechanical engineering (ME) aims to identify institutional policies and practices that contribute to the retention and attrition of Black students in electrical, computer, and mechanical engineering. Our four study institutions include historically Black institutions as well as predominantly white institutions, all of which are in the top 15 nationally in the number of Black engineering graduates. We are using a transformative mixed-methods design to answer the following overarching research questions: 1. Why do Black men and women choose and persist in, or leave, EE, CpE, and ME? 2. What are the academic trajectories of Black men and women in EE, CpE, and ME? 3. In what way do these pathways vary by gender or institution? 4. What institutional policies and practices promote greater retention of Black engineering students? Methods This study of Black students in CpE, EE, and ME reports initial results from in-depth interviews at one HBCU and one PWI. We asked students about a variety of topics, including their sense of belonging on campus and in the major, experiences with discrimination, the impact of race on their experiences, and experiences with microaggressions. For this paper, we draw on two methodological approaches that allowed us to move beyond a traditional, linear approach to in-depth interviews, allowing for more diverse experiences and narratives to emerge. First, we used an identity circle to gain a better understanding of the relative importance to the participants of racial identity, as compared to other identities. The identity circle is a series of three concentric circles, surrounding an “inner core” representing one’s “core self.” Participants were asked to place various identities from a provided list that included demographic, family-related, and school-related identities on the identity circle to reflect the relative importance of the different identities to participants’ current engineering education experiences. Second, participants were asked to complete an 8-item survey which measured the “centrality” of racial identity as defined by Sellers et al. (1997). Following Enders’ (2018) reflection on the MMRI and Nigrescence Theory, we chose to use the measure of racial centrality as it is generally more stable across situations and best “describes the place race holds in the hierarchy of identities an individual possesses and answers the question ‘How important is race to me in my life?’” (p. 518). Participants completed the MIBI items at the end of the interview to allow us to learn more about the participants’ identification with their racial group, to avoid biasing their responses to the Identity Circle, and to avoid potentially creating a stereotype threat at the beginning of the interview. This paper focuses on the results of the MIBI survey and the identity circles to investigate whether these measures were correlated. Recognizing that Blackness (race) is not monolithic, we were interested in knowing the extent to which the participants considered their Black identity as central to their engineering education experiences. Combined with discussion about the identity circles, this approach allowed us to learn more about how other elements of identity may shape the participants’ educational experiences and outcomes and revealed possible differences in how participants may enact various points of their identity. Findings For this paper, we focus on the results for five HBCU students and 27 PWI students who completed the MIBI and identity circle. The overall MIBI average for HBCU students was 43 (out of a possible 56) and the overall MIBI scores ranged from 36-51; the overall MIBI average for the PWI students was 40; the overall MIBI scores for the PWI students ranged from 24-51. Twenty-one students placed race in the inner circle, indicating that race was central to their identity. Five placed race on the second, middle circle; three placed race on the third, outer circle. Three students did not place race on their identity circle. For our cross-case qualitative analysis, we will choose cases across the two institutions that represent low, medium and high MIBI scores and different ranges of centrality of race to identity, as expressed in the identity circles. Our final analysis will include descriptive quotes from these in-depth interviews to further elucidate the significance of race to the participants’ identities and engineering education experiences. The results will provide context for our larger study of a total of 60 Black students in engineering at our four study institutions. Theoretically, our study represents a new application of Racial Identity Theory and will provide a unique opportunity to apply the theories of intersectionality, critical race theory, and community cultural wealth theory. Methodologically, our findings provide insights into the utility of combining our two qualitative research tools, the MIBI centrality scale and the identity circle, to better understand the influence of race on the education experiences of Black students in engineering.« less
  5. Today’s classrooms are remarkably different from those of yesteryear. In place of individual students responding to the teacher from neat rows of desks, one more typically finds students working in groups on projects, with a teacher circulating among groups. AI applications in learning have been slow to catch up, with most available technologies focusing on personalizing or adapting instruction to learners as isolated individuals. Meanwhile, an established science of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning has come to prominence, with clear implications for how collaborative learning could best be supported. In this contribution, I will consider how intelligence augmentation could evolve to support collaborative learning as well as three signature challenges of this work that could drive AI forward. In conceptualizing collaborative learning, Kirschner and Erkens (2013) provide a useful 3x3 framework in which there are three aspects of learning (cognitive, social and motivational), three levels (community, group/team, and individual) and three kinds of pedagogical supports (discourse-oriented, representation-oriented, and process-oriented). As they engage in this multiply complex space, teachers and learners are both learning to collaborate and collaborating to learn. Further, questions of equity arise as we consider who is able to participate and in which ways. Overall, this analysis helps usmore »see the complexity of today’s classrooms and within this complexity, the opportunities for augmentation or “assistance to become important and even essential. An overarching design concept has emerged in the past 5 years in response to this complexity, the idea of intelligent augmentation for “orchestrating” classrooms (Dillenbourg, et al, 2013). As a metaphor, orchestration can suggest the need for a coordinated performance among many agents who are each playing different roles or voicing different ideas. Practically speaking, orchestration suggests that “intelligence augmentation” could help many smaller things go well, and in doing so, could enable the overall intention of the learning experience to succeed. Those smaller things could include helping the teacher stay aware of students or groups who need attention, supporting formation of groups or transitions from one activity to the next, facilitating productive social interactions in groups, suggesting learning resources that would support teamwork, and more. A recent panel of AI experts identified orchestration as an overarching concept that is an important focus for near-term research and development for intelligence augmentation (Roschelle, Lester & Fusco, 2020). Tackling this challenging area of collaborative learning could also be beneficial for advancing AI technologies overall. Building AI agents that better understand the social context of human activities has broad importance, as does designing AI agents that can appropriately interact within teamwork. Collaborative learning has trajectory over time, and designing AI systems that support teams not just with a short term recommendation or suggestion but in long-term developmental processes is important. Further, classrooms that are engaged in collaborative learning could become very interesting hybrid environments, with multiple human and AI agents present at once and addressing dual outcome goals of learning to collaborate and collaborating to learn; addressing a hybrid environment like this could lead to developing AI systems that more robustly help many types of realistic human activity. In conclusion, the opportunity to make a societal impact by attending to collaborative learning, the availability of growing science of computer-supported collaborative learning and the need to push new boundaries in AI together suggest collaborative learning as a challenge worth tackling in coming years.« less