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Nature’s Cipher: Translating the Natural World

Spring 2022 In-person

What is the ambitious goal of this project?

Nature’s Cipher will investigate the signaling phenotypes emitted and received by microbes, plants, animals, and humans and how these natural conversations influence the behavior of individuals, populations and species.

Experience Gained

Join the team to gain knowledge, skills, and abilities in several tools and methodologies that include, but are not limited to:

  • Science communication and outreach to diverse audiences by translating scientific discoveries into other languages
  • Reviewing and summarizing literature
  • Basic laboratory practices (e.g. pipetting, safety)
  • Data visualization and application of elements of art and principles of design to scientific themes
  • Team-science approaches
  • Writing
  • Active Listening
  • Project Planning
  • Grant Writing
  • Analysis
  • Design

Majors or Interests Needed

  • Nature’s Cipher VIP allows students to leverage their own skills, knowledge, and abilities within Science and Non-Science disciplines to improve how we listen to and value conversations in nature and with each other.
  • Anthropology, Art, Basque Studies, Biological Sciences, Biomolecular PhD Program, Chemistry-Biochemistry, Communication, Computer Science, Curriculum, Instruction, and Foundation Studies, Educational Technology, Electrical & Computer Engineering, English, Environmental Studies Program, Gaming and Interactive Mobile Media (GIMM), Geosciences, History, Interdisciplinary Studies, Literacy, Language & Culture, Management, Marketing, Materials Science & Engineering, Mathematics, Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, Multidisciplinary Studies, Music, Organizational Performance & Workplace Learning, Physics, Political Science, Psychological Sciences, Sociology, Theatre Arts, World Languages

VIP Coach Information

Dr. Jennifer Forbey is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. You can contact Dr. Forbey at

Dr. Carolina Viera is an Assistant Professor of Spanish in the Department of World Languages. You can contact Dr. Viera at

Course Information

VIP  200, VIP 400 or VIP 500
Full semester course. Choose to enroll in 1 or 2 credits.
Team meetings: TBD

Interested in joining this team?

For more information and to request a permission number to register contact Dr. Forbey at OR complete this interest form and someone will contact you.

Check out this document for tips on contacting a professor about joining a team.

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