Integration of research experiences into the undergraduate classroom can result in increased recruitment, retention, and motivation of science students. "Big data" science initiatives, such as the Paleobiology Database (PBDB), can provide inexpensive and accessible research opportunities. Here, we provide an introduction to what the PBDB is, how to use it, how it can be deployed in introductory and advanced courses, and examples of how it has been used in undergraduate research. The PBDB aims to provide information on all fossil organisms, across the tree of life, around the world, and through all of geologic time. The PBDB Resource Page (paleobiodb.org/#/resources) contains a range of PBDB tutorials and activities for use in physical geology, historical geology, palaeontology, sedimentology, and stratigraphy courses. As two year colleges, universities, and distance-based learning initiatives seek research-based alternatives to traditional lab exercises, the PBDB can provide opportunities for hands-on science activities.
2. How to Use the Paleobiology Database
3. Educational Integration – Examples and Ideas