Plenary Speakers

Rita R. Colwell, The National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA
Friday, May 16
1:00 - 2:00 pm

Biocomplexity's Spiral: Plotting the Course for Microbiology in the Next Decade
In the past decade, microbiology has expanded to unimagined frontiers, connecting in countless ways to other disciplines to begin to define the complexity of life over space and time. At the same time, we stand on the threshold of momentous changes in the way we teach and learn--not only in microbiology but in all of science and engineering. As microbiologists today, we have a redoubled responsibility to connect our science to society.

Lee S. Shulman, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Menlo Park, CA 
Friday, May 16
2:15 - 3:15 pm

Learning from Experience through a Scholarship of Teaching
All research is an attempt to transform experience into learning. When we engage in the act of teaching--from design to evaluation--we initiate a set of experiences whose purpose is learning, both for our students and ourselves. We have a professional and moral obligation to investigate the extent to which those purposes have been realized. In this session, we will examine the ways in which a scholarship of teaching and learning can support that quest, and can lead to more powerful forms of pedagogy as well as more responsible forms of professional development for faculty in the sciences and beyond.

Eric D. Green, National Human Genome Research Institute, Bethesda, MD
Saturday, May 17
8:30 - 9:30 a.m.

Beyond The Human Genome Project
The Human Genome Project recently reached an important milestone with the completion of a complete sequence of the human genome. This new and powerful foundation of genetic information is empowering investigators to tackle complex problems in human biology and disease. It will likely also change biomedical research and the practice of medicine in profound ways in the coming decades.

Kenneth H. Nealson, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, May 17
2:45 - 3:45 p.m.

Searching for Life on Earth and Off: Strategies for Life Detection
This session will involve thinking about the challenge of detecting unknown forms of life - as I call it, non-earthcentric life detection. The simple question is: could you detect life if none of the usual tools used by biologists were available to you? The goals and objectives are then are to present what must be the fundamental features of life, to discuss which might be possible to measure and how to do it, and finally to develop a strategy that could be used on earthly samples, where it could be easily validated using earthcentric techniques, and, ultimately, on extraterrestrial samples, either in situ (on Mars, Europa, or other places), or upon
their return to Earth. All of this will be put into a perspective of current and planned missions of the NASA space program.

Judith Kandel, California State University, Fullerton, CA
Sunday, May 18
10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Microtrends: New Directions for Microbiology Education
What have we learned and accomplished since the first ASM Undergraduate Conference ten years ago? How has the changing face of both microbiology and undergraduate science education reshaped the challenges of the future? We will reflect briefly on the history of the Conference and explore ways to make our collective vision of the future of undergraduate microbiology education a reality.