Teaching

 
I believe that the best way to excite students about learning is to actively engage them in relevant ongoing research. For this reason, I attempt to involve aspects of my current research in all of the courses I teach

 

Bio 121 and 122:
A two semester stand-alone course series comprised of both lecture and lab components. This course series is intended as an introduction to the application of biological principles in the lab and field for freshman.

  • Bio 121 (fall) consists of two modules, the Genetics module and the Ecology module.  The Genetics Module introduces students to DNA analysis techniques and the Ecology module serves as an introduction to ecological principles and effect of environmental stimuli on animal behavior.
  • Bio 122 (spring) consists of the Environmental Toxicology and Microscopy modules.  In Environmental Toxicology, students get experience handling live vertebrates, dissecting fish, and conducting analysis for biochemical bio-markers. The Microscopy module utilizes C. elegans to study the impact of contaminants on growth and reproduction. Emphasis across all modules of this course series is placed on experimental design, development of rigorous laboratory and field skills, and use of new technology.

Bio 189:  Writing in the Biological Sciences
This course is intended to provide students with a small biology class in their first year that is focused on introducing the writing process to biologists. Students apply newly learned writing skills to data generated in the Bio 121- Ecology module to draft a scientific manuscript in peer-reviewed journal format.

Bio 380:  Field and Stream
An upper-level field methods course in which students will learn and apply aquatic and terrestrial ecological techniques relevant to aspects of ongoing faculty research. Intended as a robust research experience in the study of ecology and field biology. Current topic focus on 1) determining the impacts of the hemlock tree health decline (due to woolly adelgid) on adjacent aquatic ecosystems or 2) the ecological impact of stocked fish on wild fish populations and surrounding ecosystems.

Bio 489:  Biology Research
Individual research projects with the goal of engaging students in active learning through research that often leads to senior thesis topics, professional presentations, and publication of work.  Projects are based on proposals submitted in BI 389: Biology Research Seminar. Attendance at a departmental seminars is expected.

Bio 499:  Senior Thesis
Course aimed at guiding research students through the process of crafting a senior thesis in peer-reviewed publication format.  The ultimate goal of this work is to have students submit a paper for publication before graduation