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1.  Online Plagiarism Training Falls Short in Biology Classrooms 
CBE Life Sciences Education  2014;13(1):83-89.
This study compared three plagiarism-avoidance training formats (i.e., no training, online tutorial, or homework assignment) in several undergraduate ecology courses. The authors found that students trained with the homework assignment more successfully identified plagiarism or the lack thereof than did untrained students or students trained with the online tutorial.
Online plagiarism tutorials are increasingly popular in higher education, as faculty and staff try to curb the plagiarism epidemic. Yet no research has validated the efficacy of such tools in minimizing plagiarism in the sciences. Our study compared three plagiarism-avoidance training regimens (i.e., no training, online tutorial, or homework assignment) and their impacts on students’ ability to accurately discriminate plagiarism from text that is properly quoted, paraphrased, and attributed. Using pre- and postsurveys of 173 undergraduate students in three general ecology courses, we found that students given the homework assignment had far greater success in identifying plagiarism or the lack thereof compared with students given no training. In general, students trained with the homework assignment more successfully identified plagiarism than did students trained with the online tutorial. We also found that the summative assessment associated with the plagiarism-avoidance training formats (i.e., homework grade and online tutorial assessment score) did not correlate with student improvement on surveys through time.
PMCID: PMC3940467  PMID: 24591507
2.  Human Disturbance Influences Reproductive Success and Growth Rate in California Sea Lions (Zalophus californianus) 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(3):e17686.
The environment is currently undergoing changes at both global (e.g., climate change) and local (e.g., tourism, pollution, habitat modification) scales that have the capacity to affect the viability of animal and plant populations. Many of these changes, such as human disturbance, have an anthropogenic origin and therefore may be mitigated by management action. To do so requires an understanding of the impact of human activities and changing environmental conditions on population dynamics. We investigated the influence of human activity on important life history parameters (reproductive rate, and body condition, and growth rate of neonate pups) for California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Increased human presence was associated with lower reproductive rates, which translated into reduced long-term population growth rates and suggested that human activities are a disturbance that could lead to population declines. We also observed higher body growth rates in pups with increased exposure to humans. Increased growth rates in pups may reflect a density dependent response to declining reproductive rates (e.g., decreased competition for resources). Our results highlight the potentially complex changes in life history parameters that may result from human disturbance, and their implication for population dynamics. We recommend careful monitoring of human activities in the Gulf of California and emphasize the importance of management strategies that explicitly consider the potential impact of human activities such as ecotourism on vertebrate populations.
PMCID: PMC3059216  PMID: 21436887

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