Aresty-Byrne Seminars

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Incorporating authentic research into a classroom setting could allow many more students to reap the benefits of research and contribute to making research more inclusive, but there are few established models for doing so. The Byrne Seminar Program and the Aresty Research Center have joined forces to create specialized Aresty-Byrne Seminars. These seminars are a one-credit course, limited to 20 students, that is taught (like all Byrne Seminars) by our world-renowned faculty from departments and professional schools across Rutgers.

Aresty-Byrne Seminars will help participating students gain awareness of the nature of scientific research and confidence in the skills and activities it entails and accrues the personal and professional benefits that participation in authentic research has been shown to provide. Faculty across disciplines gain support and structure for engaging undergraduates in their research through the classroom, thus reaching a much larger group than traditional apprenticeship models allow.

The following table lists examples of Aresty-Byrne Seminars (some have been taught more than once) and the types of authentic research activities they have included:

Department Course Title Professor Research Activities
Animal Sciences Fighting the Fat: Do Obesity Treatments Work? Nicholas Bello Tissue sectioning; literature review
Biomedical Engineering The Wonder and Intricacy of the Human Machine Joseph Freedman Mechanical tests of tendons from rat tails and elastomeric polymers
Cell Biology and Neuroscience Do You Know What You're Eating? Alice Liu PCR and Western blotting to detect and identify genetically modified organisms in food
Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources The Secret Life of Birds Julie Lockwood Fieldwork to observe and track migratory patterns; bird species identification
Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources Weeds- What are they Good For? Life and Death Among Unwanted Plants Lena Struwe Bioactivity screening of plant antioxident properties; species identification and inventories of urban lawns
Environmental Science Environmental Remediation at Rutgers Donna Fennell Biochemical techniques to address contamination in aquatic environments
Marine and Coastal Sciences From the Sea to the Raritan: The Spawning Journeys of our Local Anadromous Fishes Olaf Jensen Setting nets and tagging fish; quantitative analysis; literature review
Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Making Mutants: Understanding the Control of Gene Expression Andrew Vershon Isolating and analyzing proteins
Physics and Astronomy A Ray of Light in a Sea of Dark (Matter) Charles Keeton Classifying galaxies; literature review; presentations

Eligibility and Requirements

All first-year students at Rutgers-New Brunswick are eligible for Aresty-Byrne Seminars. These seminars are designed to be introductory, with no prerequisites. These seminars will challenge students to develop and practice next-level research methods to contribute to the process of creative thinking. Because Aresty-Byrne Seminars are focused on research skills, you should expect to be introduced to research methods, which may include some time in a lab. There are no final exams and no research papers but be prepared to do some reading and discuss the material in class. You may also complete short writing assignments or group projects.

How to Enroll

You can register for an Aresty-Byrne Seminar through WebReg. You may find the Course Schedule Planner useful in determining which courses are open and will fit best into your schedule. Enter the subject code “090” and the course number “101” to get a list of Aresty-Byrne Seminars for the semester. 

A list of current Aresty-Byrne Seminars can be found here.