My teaching philosophy has been shaped and crafted by my experiences as a student, a teaching assistant, a guest lecturer, and a mentor. I believe that in order for students to learn effectively, teaching must be a conversation, not a monologue. Each course, laboratory, and one-on-one meeting provides an opportunity to make connections with students and to foster not only understanding of the subject at hand, but also the chance to instill values and attitudes that shape future scientists, teachers, and citizens. Teachers must recognize that these opportunities will have an impact on students’ lives. It is critical to strive to make these relationships significant, influential, and productive. I am passionate about teaching science because the interdisciplinary nature of ecology and the diversity of content within biology provide many different ways to make profound connections and ensure that students have a chance to become informed, aware, and pro-active. In order to understand ecological science, students must learn by doing. Ecology naturally lends itself to experiential education and I feel that when students are given a forum where individuals and groups are presented tasks that are based on real-world global problems yet are tied directly to local service-based and concept-based outcomes, learning will be inherently driven by communication, problem solving, and dedication.
Laboratory Courses Taught
BIO 105-Biology of Food
BIO 107-Biology of Disease
BIO 346-Concepts in Biology II
BIO 411-Aquatic Communities
Lectures- Shared/Guest Lecturer
WETs 101 Introduction to Aquatic Research
BIOa 903 Introduction to Env Science
BIO 406 Aquatic Environment
BIO 411 Aquatic Communities
University of Jyväskylä- Supervised Graduate Students
• Jussi Vesterinen - 2013-
Littoral primary and bacterial production in humic lakes
PhD thesis in progress
• Naren Koju - 2013
Odonate resource use in a complex littoral environment.
MSc thesis in progress
• Satish Basnet - 2012
Measuring anaerobic production in humic lakes.
MSc thesis completed
• Jussi Vesterinen - 2012
Littoral primary production in a highly humic boreal lake.
MSc thesis completed.
• Juan Carlos Zuniga - 2011
Responses of littoral macroinvertebrates in a small humic lake to different fish predation regimes.
MSc thesis completed.
NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Mentees
• Karen Pedersen, Wright State University - 2008
Employing a Diving-PAM to measure light response curves of periphyton in northern oligotrophic lakes.
Master’s student at WSU
Peace Corp Volunteer
• Ben Clifford, St. Olaf College - 2007
Benthic primary production responses to bioturbation caused by an invasive crayfish.
Currently PhD student at Notre Dame
• Jim McCormick, Wright State University - 2006
The influence of groundwater discharge and recharge on
benthic primary production in Sparkling Lake, WI.
Supervised 12 undergraduate and 3 graduate laboratory research assistants
Supervised 12 undergraduate and 2 graduate field research assistants
Mentored 4 undergraduate independent projects
"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." ~William Arthur Ward