Teaching

 
Students in FW364
Ecological Problem Solving
Spring 2012

Students conducting in-class demonstration of demographic stochasticity.
     
 

Students and co-instructor in PLB 802
Ecology and Evolution of Biological Invasions
Spring 2010

Students were working in cooperative groups with instructors to create presentations of research papers for a case-study jigsaw discussion.

     
 

Students in ISP 217L
Water and the Environment
Fall 2008

Students were creating research plans for a lab investigating the phosphorus cycle in aquatic ecosystems

     

 

Teaching Goals
 
Teaching has always been a passion of mine. I can remember being a grade school student and hoping one day I would become a grade school teacher. Then I entered high school, and after taking a very enjoyable physics course, I made it my career goal to be a high school physics instructor. Not surprisingly, upon becoming an undergraduate student at a liberal arts college (majoring in aquatic biology and environmental studies), I decided to become a professor of biology and environmental science at a liberal arts college. Now I am a graduate student at a major research institution with a Master’s of Science degree completed and with a PhD program in progress, both of which focus on how exotic species affect aquatic ecosystems. Perhaps it would not be surprising if I had revised my career goal to become a professor at a research institution, with a large research program heavily focused on aquatic exotic species. However, my former career goal of teaching biology and environmental science at a liberal arts college has remained un-altered (with the exception that I would specialize in exotic species). My passion for teaching has finally found an academic niche!

I see teaching as a process of awakening knowledge in students. Through science education, students discover their own unique understanding of how “the world works”. As an environmental scientist, I view science education as also serving the larger goal of maintaining healthy and diverse ecosystems. Education is critical to engendering a land ethic that entails responsible conduct toward the environment and ensures sustainability of our environment for future generations. My career objectives include teaching classes in ecology, evolution, aquatic biology, and the philosophy of science, and maintaining an innovative undergraduate research program to teach students in a hands-on manner. I am particularly interested in building collaborative programs across colleges / universities and offering students opportunities to conduct research in the field and study abroad. My overarching aims as a professor will be to stress the interrelatedness of scientific disciplines, the importance of critical thought, and to deliver individualized instruction that communicates the enjoyment of learning and discovery in science.
 
Teaching Philosophy
 
Thinking about teaching is something I do on a daily basis. Click here to view my teaching philosophy.
 
Mentoring Philosophy
 
Mentoring is an important part of teaching and research. Click here to view my mentoring philosophy.
 
Teaching Links
 
Certification in College Teaching Program in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Michigan State University
The Center for Research on College Science Teaching and Learning at Michigan State University

Last Updated 7-12-12 | Michigan State University - Department of Fisheries and Wildlife