Course Catalog > Conservation Genomics
The Praxis Conservation Genomics journey – featuring conservation scientist Dr. Ellie Armstrong – leverages AI-powered curation, hands-on data-intensive computer environments, multisensory online resources, quizzes, and expert mentoring (featuring Discord) to teach students how to use bioinformatics workflows to analyze and assemble animal genomes with a focus on endangered species.
Students will explore how computational environments such as Linux + Jupyter Notebooks impact biosciences and genomics. In addition, they will gain insights into conservation genomics, genome assembly, genome annotation, comparative genomics, and population genetics using data-intensive hands-on labs and AI-powered collaboration.
The online program is available 24x7x365 via any web browser or mobile device and includes six (6) learning paths, fifteen (15) lessons, and over fifty (50) hours of learning material. Below is a list of the main topics:
Genomic data is increasingly used to inform conservation decision-making in captive and wild populations. In this project-based course, students will gain experience with genomic data generated specifically to address wildlife management needs in Vermont, ultimately contributing to a short peer-reviewed manuscript.
Students will review a range of sequencing approaches (e.g. Hi-C, RNA, metabarcoding) and learn how to access public data repositories. Students will actively engage in assembling a genome, including use of the command line and various analysis tools relevant to sequencing technology. Through surveying the primary literature and real-world case studies, students will be able to explore a number of career pathways that bridge molecular biology and conservation science.
Skills and Resources
Earners of the Conservation Genomics BioHacker credential have successfully demonstrated experiential skills in computational biology and generating genomic data specifically to address wildlife management needs. The Conservation Genomics badge requires 50+ hours of hands-on activities and labs across 15+ skills in biotech R&D. The Conservation Genomics BioHacker credential was built in collaboration with world renowned conservation scientist professor Ellie Armstrong while teaching at Middlebury College.
Following is summary of the earning criteria for the BioHackers: Conservation Genomics digital credential:
- Complete 15+ hands-on conservation genomics labs using live biological computing systems
- AND – Complete all required learning resources in the Conservation Genomics online journey – 15 lessons – including, videos, articles, activities, and discussion posts
- AND – Pass short assessments (80% or better) in all lessons
- AND – Participate in weekly virtual collaboration sessions with instructor(s), mentor(s), and peers
- AND – Conduct original genomics research using the skills, resources, and tools within the Conservation Genomics journey