professional societies improving undergraduate biology education

The Coalition for Education in the Life Sciences (CELS) was a national coalition of professional societies in the biological sciences that joined together in an effort to improve undergraduate education in the life sciences. CELS was in existence from 1991-1998. During that time, CELS had a home in the American Society for Microbiology from 1991-1993 and at UW-Madison in the Center for Biology Education from 1994-1998. Funding was obtained from NSF and from the Exxon Education Foundation. CELS sponsored three CELS conferences for sharing of innovative ways of teaching undergraduate biology. Under the leadership of Dr. Louise Liao, Program Director, 1996-98, CELS visited numerous biological sciences professional societies to share what other professional societies were doing to bring the expertise and resources of their membership to bear on improving undergraduate biology education. CELS disbanded in 1998 due to lack of funding, but CELS was responsible for bringing to the attention of many research-oriented professional societies the ways that peer organizations had found to promote better undergraduate biology education.


CELS Monograph "Professional Societies and the Faculty Scholar: Promoting Scholarship and Learning in the Life Sciences" (includes essays, showcases, and an Issues-Based Framework for Bio101.). This monograph was developed by Dr. Liao and the CELS Steering Committee in 1998. A pdf. of this monograph can be downloaded by clicking HERE (size is 857 KB).

Bio 101 Issues-based Framework was developed in 1992 by CELS, it still is a valuable tool for thinking about about how biology could be taught through use of issues. Download a copy of the framework by clicking HERE (size is 250 KB).

Educational Activities Links

A list of professional societies in the biological sciences was developed by CELS. The Center for Biology Education has kept the links to the societies updated as a service to the community, due to the large number of individuals who visit this resource. We invite you to browse the materials at the individual sites, since the materials listed here have not been kept updated.

Last updated: 8-1-06 URL: