Well, the semester is starting. Today I'm prepping for day one. One thing that is always tricky when teaching a course with new material, is how much? There is a lot of reading I expect, so that we can discuss and interact more in our valuable class meeting times. I'm hoping I haven't assigned too much. First, we will read most of Joanna Freeland et al.'s Molecular Ecology, 2nd edition. Chapter one is kind of long but pretty much a light overview, and in fact already a fairly outdated one: the problem with using textbooks. But typically academic papers don't help bring new folks in as readily, and I just don't know that much about the crowd taking this class, so we will start with the basics and move forward! In fact, in some ways it is more important to me that students understand the basics really well: how mutations occur in different types of markers, and how often. Starting with the latest in sequencing technology is amazing to point and say, wow look at those thousands of variable loci, and everybody gets excited.... but if you don't know how to analyze those loci it doesn't matter. So, that is where we start, is understanding the variation we are hoping to use.