Workshops and Institutes

Using Molecular Data to Conserve Big Cats

November 23, 2013

Cougar (Mountain Lion) diorama

A pair of cougars rests in the Arizona shade in this diorama in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals.

© AMNH/C. Chesek

In this one-day workshop, teachers will learn how scientists are collecting and analyzing molecular data to better understand big cats in their natural habitat and assess the state of the populations. These elusive animals are difficult to observe and molecular techniques are providing scientists at AMNH opportunities to ask questions at the population level.  Teachers will engage in activities using Google maps to plot mountain lion distribution data, bioinformatics tool DNA Subway to understand the phylogeny of big cats, and Museum dioramas to learn more about these amazing animals.

This workshop is most appropriate for Middle and High School teachers.