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Assessing Prevalence of Antibiotic-Resistance in the Environment (PARE) banner

The Prevalence of Antibiotic-Resistance in the Environment (PARE) project is a short duration, low-cost, course-based research module and citizen-science driven research project. Its goals are two-fold: large-scale monitoring of antibiotic-resistant organisms in the environment, and providing a low-hurdle pathway for instructors to begin implementing research in their classrooms.

PARE has been successful in attracting and retaining instructors at diverse institution types, from community colleges to doctoral-granting institutions and engages roughly 2,000 undergraduates per year.

In this citizen-science driven initiative, students collect soil samples and subject them to classic microbiological laboratory techniques to determine the relative number of bacteria resistant to antibiotics. The data are submitted to a national database used to monitor antibiotic resistant hotspots on a nation-wide scale. Students gain a sense of importance and ownership over their laboratory work knowing that it will be used in a real scientific study. Subsequent data analyses have supported hypotheses about locations expected to harbor high prevalence levels.

The PARE project uses a “module” approach to classroom research. All PARE classrooms implement the core module, which is low cost and can be completed within 2-3 class periods. Instructors who wish to give their students a longer research experience can pick and choose from a library of additional research modules, or choose to design and implement their own follow-up experiments.

The PARE materials and the research plan are designed to be accessible to instructors from a variety of institution types serving a broad demographic of students. Partnerships can be formed between college and high school biology classes to bridge social and professional connections for both students and faculty.


Get Involved

If you are interested joining our collaborative PARE network of instructors, please contact Carol Bascom-Slack or Liz Genné-Bacon for more information.

Follow @PARE_Project on Twitter!

PARE downloads for 2016-17