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C3: Complex Communities

A gloved hand holds specimens in a petri dish

What is the ambitious goal of this project?

C3: Characterizing Complex Communities in Natural Systems is designed to empower student researchers to explore the complex interactions between plants, their microbial communities, and the environment. This course will integrate natural community profiling, molecular techniques, chemistry, physiology, bioinformatics, data analysis and science communication to ensure that students develop proficiencies across multiple disciplines. We will build community between Boise State University and College of Western Idaho, promote collaborative science, and provide upward mobility for students to explore potential research careers in the future.

Experience Gained

  • Join this team to explore interactions among plants, their microbial communities, and the environment, while learning how to analyze and visualize data.
  • Methodologies used in this project: coding and coding software, fieldwork, laboratory testing, quantitative research methods, and writing.

Majors or Interests Needed

  • Bachelor of Applied Science
  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemistry-Biochemistry
  • Communication
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • Environmental Studies Program
  • Geosciences
  • Materials Science & Engineering
  • Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering
  • Multidisciplinary Studies
  • Sociology
  • Urban Studies & Community Development

VIP Coach Information

Dr. Leonora Bittleston is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and operates the Bittleston Lab. Contact Dr. Bittleston at

Dr. Stephanie Galla is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Heath Lab. Contact Dr. Galla at

Course Information

VIPĀ  200, VIP 400 or VIP 500
Full semester course. Choose to enroll in 1 or 2 credits.
Spring 2022 meetings: Tues 12pm-2pm

Interested in joining this team?

For more information and to request a permission number to register contact Dr. Bittleston at OR complete this interest form and someone will contact you. Check out this page for tips on contacting a professor.

To register, search by Subject: Vertically Integrated Projects, read the project description to find the right section of VIP 200, 400, or 500.

Here are instructions for using permission numbers Add with a permission number