This is more of a general question as I am new to this site. I teach at a community college and am trying to determine some projects that 1st year and 2nd year biology students could do. Ideally, the project would be able to be continuous as 1. the turnover rate for the students would be pretty quick and 2. this couldn't be research done at universities.
One thought I had involved the periodical cicadas. These cicadas have life cycles where they are underground for either 13 or 17 years. As a result, there are different populations of cicadas that are genetically isolated from each other. One population will come out in 2011, another one in 2013 etc. etc. When the populations emerge varies from state to state.
Would there be any value to sequencing these different populations? What type of analysis would I do for each one? There are a lot of details to be figured out and I would have to write a grant to get some equipment. I would also partner with a local university to see if I could use some of their equipment. Before I start trying to figure out the smaller details though, I just wanted some feedback to see if this would be worthwhile and what are some other details I may not have thought of.
The only other idea I had was sequencing some fungi as this area has not gotten a lot of attention. Any ideas or comments are welcome. Thank you!