Biology Core Curriculum

College of Letters & Science
Home >> 50th Anniversary

50th Anniversary

Celebrating 50 Years

Come Celebrate Biocore’s 50th Anniversary!

This is a celebration of the innovative spirit of Biocore; our community of students, alumni, faculty, administrators, and friends; and our strong commitment to excellence in biology education at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. See the Biocore 50th News Story>>

MESSAGE BOARD: Post a SHOUT OUT to your Biocore Friends HERE

View messages on the Message Board


TWO Events! RSVP HERE - by May 7

1. Biocore Prairie—Welcome and Walking Tour
May 14, 2018 at 3–5 p.m.

WEATHER UPDATE-  We are on for the Biocore Prairie walk- rain or shine. Only severe weather such as lighting will cause cancellation. We recommend waterproof footwear since the walking trails and grass covered areas in the prairie will likely be wet and soft from the recent rain. The prairie is a short 8-minute walk up through the stone gate near Lot 129 (Picnic Point parking lot) OR take a ride in the shuttle cart care of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve staff. There will be shooting star prairie flowers and a root beer float waiting for you!

Description of event- Along with the Biocore program's 50th anniversary, the Biocore Prairie turns 20 this year! Come out to the Biocore Prairie to see how it has grown and established. Connect with old friends and meet new Biocore buddies. Take a walking tour with our knowledgeable team of Biocore Prairie interns. Get your hands dirty and plant some prairie seeds to ensure good establishment for future generations.

Directions & Parking- FREE parking on the day of the event in Lots 129, 130, and 131. The Biocore Prairie is a short 8 min walk from Lots 129 and 130 at the base of Picnic Point within the UW Madison Lakeshore Nature Preserve. Walk through the stone gates and follow the signs to the Biocore Prairie. 

2. Biocore Program—Open House and Showcase
May 15, 2018 at 3–5 p.m.
3rd Floor, Noland Hall, 250 N. Mills St.

Description of event- Reconnect with old friends and get familiar with Biocore today. Find out how Biocore has continued to innovate inside and outside the classroom. Visit interactive exhibits on "glowing" worms and shmooing yeast. Examine Biocore's curriculum scaffold for science communication, research, and team-based learning outcomes. Catch up with the Biocore Outreach Ambassadors, Peer Mentors, and Peer Advisors. Give an alumni shout-out, enjoy student presentations and a Biocore cupcake!

Directions & Parking- Noland Hall is at the corners of Johnson, Mills, and Dayton streets on the UW Madison campus. Public parking is available at Grainger Hall underground garage. Two hour parking is available along Mills street south of Dayton. Car pool if you can since parking can be slim this time of year.

Shout Out to Biocore!

Millard Susman
It must have been 1967 when Kelly Clifton came to my office to invite me to participate in a new educational experience — the Biology Core Curriculum. It sounded like just the sort of thing I'd love to do. The course — or, rather, the series of courses — was to be organized around discovery. We were not going to tell students just what we know; we were going to tell them HOW we know what we know. And we were not going to break biology into arbitrary chunks like Zoology, Botany, Physiology, Microbiology, Genetics, and so forth; we were going to emphasize the continuum of biology from micro to macro, from molecule to population. We were going to draw faculty from all over the campus, with no boundaries between L&S, Agriculture, Medicine, and so forth. We were going to talk about research from day one, and we were going to teach rigor and skepticism. I became a member of the Cell Biology team, which was to be led by Bill Dove, and we spent months designing our course, meeting for hours at a time to try to figure out how to put together a coherent course in which the connections between units and disciplines were as clear as possible. We all pledged to attend each other's classes so that we could critique each other and refer to lectures that preceded and followed our own. Working with that teaching team was wonderful. We were doing something new, bold, challenging. It turned out that the students who registered for the course shared our sense of adventure and excitement. We were all pioneers working together on a new approach to biology education. I loved teaching in Biocore. My colleagues over the years — Bill Dove, Walter Plaut, Bob Metzenberg, Wayne Becker, Ann Burgess, Philippa Claude, Bill Sugden, Rick Eisenstein, Stan Peloquin, Gary Borissy, Sean Carroll — were wonderful teachers and collaborators. The students in Biocore were sharp, eager, critical, and fun. I learned a lot both from my teaching partners and the students. Of all the things I did as a faculty member, the one that gave me the most satisfaction and, as I look back on my career, gives me the most pride is my participation in Biocore. I loved teaching Biocore!

-- Millard Susman, 1967 - 2000 or so

Biocore is celebrating 50 Years