Science Education and Student Development | Biological Sciences

Science Education and Student Development

Faculty research interests in the areas of science education and student development include support of science, engineering, and mathematics students through the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Programs (Jefferson) and evolution education and the nature of science (Narguizian).

LSAMP Programs

CSULA LSAMP Logo   Contact:  Margaret Jefferson, Ph.D.
Office:  ASCB 323B, ext 3-2059
LSAMP:  ASCB 323A, ext 3-2095
Logo for the Cal State LA Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Program.

LSAMP Overview
Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation is a comprehensive, statewide program for undergraduates who are majoring in science, engineering, and mathematics (SEM) at one of the campuses of the California State University (CSU). Initiated in 1994, the CSU-LSAMP Alliance currently consists of 22 campuses of the CSU. LSAMP at Cal State LA is currently one of the largest LSAMP programs in the country with about 500 students participating each year. The primary objectives of LSAMP are to increase the numbers of students who graduate in a SEM-discipline and ultimately go on to graduate school to pursue the PhD in a SEM field. Activities include research training, academic year workshops, summer preparation activities, travel to national and statewide conferences, and international activities. LSAMP at Cal State LA is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the CSU Office of the Chancellor, and Cal State LA. LSAMP-BD (LSAMP-Bridge to the Doctorate) is the graduate-level component of LSAMP funded by NSF. Each fall a new cohort of 12 graduate students (who formerly graduated in a SEM field as LSAMP undergraduates) joins the LSAMP-BD program for two years of support. Sites rotate through different CSU campuses. Cal State LA has been the site for four of the seven funded cohorts since the program started in 2003.

Selected Presentations
Jefferson, M.C. 2008. Louis Stokes Alliance–Bridge to the Doctorate Program for 2008-2010. San Jose State University Student Research Conference, May 8-9, San Jose State University, San Jose CA.
Jefferson, M.C. 2008. GRE Preparatory Program for STEM Undergraduates. Annual Meeting of the CSU-LSAMP Alliance, May 1-3, Renaissance Hotel, Long Beach, CA.
Jacobsen, S.E., Jefferson, M.C., Buchanan, C., Streit, D., and Weiss, R. 2008. STEM Talent Expansion Program for Underutilized Populations (STEP-UP). STEP Grantees Meeting, March, Washington, D.C.
Ainsworth, R., O'Neal, A., Jefferson, M.C., and Jacobsen, S.E. 2007. Review of the Joint UCLA-CSULA STEM Talent Expansion Program for Underutilized Populations (STEP-UP), NSF Grant #0431697. STEP Grantees Meeting, March, Washington, D.C.
Jefferson M.C., and Garcia, R.E. 2007. Success of Students in Undergraduate Research Training Curriculum. Annual Meeting of the CSU-LSAMP Alliance, January, Sacramento, CA.


Evolution Education and the Nature of Science


Galapagos marine iguana   Contact:  Paul Narguizian, Ed.D.
Office:  ASCB 323C, ext: 3-2054
Laboratory:  ASCB 341
On the Galapagos island of Fernandina, a marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) with a lava lizard (Microlophus albemarlensis) sunbathing on top of its head.

Research Summary
There is a critical need for effective evolution education. Our lab investigates some of the evidence that demonstrates that need and analyzes several aspects of the nature of science and how it can be illustrated during the course of evolution instruction, primarily at the high school and college level. Biological evolution is a critical component to understanding the biodiversity of life on earth. Teachers and students of science alike, address the topic of evolution as a series of facts which tend to focus greatly on definitions and descriptions about life on earth while missing the underlying nature of science (NOS) which was and is currently being used to explain how living things have evolved over time.

Representative Publications
Richardson, D., and Narguizian, P. 2012. Incorporating captive animal behavior into the conservation of threatened species, Hippocampus ingens. International Journal of Applied Science and Technology 2: 17-23.
Narguizian, P. 2012. Evolution education and the nature of science: Strategies for the classroom. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science 2: 1-4.
Narguizian, P., and Desharnais, R. 2012. Virtual courseware: Web-based simulations for promoting inquiry-based teaching and learning. California Classroom Science 24:
Narguizian, P. 2008. Biology, chemistry, medicine, and nature study. In The Routledge International Encyclopedia of Education, D. Crook and G. McCulloch (eds), Routledge Taylor & Francis Group Publishers, London, England.
Esterle, R., Black, S., and Narguizian, P. 2006. The arithmetic of evolution. In Investigating Evolutionary Biology in the Laboratory, W.F. McComas (ed.), Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, Dubuque, Iowa, pp. 263-269.


Note: ASCB = Wallis Annenberg Integrated Science Complex-Wing B. When calling from off-campus, the area code and prefix for all telephone extensions is (323) 34X-XXXX.