Teaching

Principles of Ecology EBIO2040 

This courses focuses on the broad principles and practices within ecology. Students investigate topics such as population and community dynamics, interspecies interactions, community composition, and landscape ecology in an active learning environment. This course is unique in that we use active lecture integrated with in-depth case studies. Students engage in learning about a topic via short activities supplemented with explanations and then after they have learned broad principles and practices, they apply their knowledge to a situation that they may encounter should they choose to pursue an ecologically-oriented career. This class involves the use of undergraduate learning assistants during lecture to supplement instruction and assist students during active learning. Graduate students design and teach the case studies, which often involve real data or relate to their own studies within the department. Our aim with this course is to provide students a with a broad and relevant background in ecology while also providing them with practices that mimic those that they would engage in during an ecology career. 

Introduction to Quantitative Thinking in Biology EBIO1010

This course aims to provide students with a solid foundation in quantitative thinking and statistical analyses that they will be able to draw upon for their undergraduate career and beyond. In this course we focus on making and support claims through the collection, analysis, and effective visualization data. We emphasize using R to perform analyses and construct visualizations and we use examples from ecology, evolutionary biology, and the social sciences to explain course concepts. Students leave this course with the ability to view the world through a quantitative lens and critically evaluate quantitative information to make and justify claims. 

Professional Development 

CURE instruction and design

Having expertise in Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience instruction and design, I aim to provide professional development for my colleagues in areas related to these topics. As a postdoc with Dr. Erin Dolan at the University of Georgia, I assisted with several professional development efforts surrounding CURE design and implementation and I continue to do so today. For example, in Fall 2018, I lead a CURE Faculty Learning Community for faculty at CU Boulder who were interested in this topic and I continue to help interested colleagues to refine and assess their CUREs. I have also been asked to run day long workshops at other institutions for instructors interested in integrating research into their courses. These workshops are aimed at helping instructors to think about course design from a research perspective (i.e., how will I accomplish both research and teaching goals in one course?) and at grounding the course design such that desired student outcomes are achieved (i.e., what outcomes do I want to prioritize and how will the design of my CURE help me accomplish my desired outcomes?).  

Community College Biology Education Research

Currently there is a paucity of biology education research that is authored by community college biology instructors or that addresses community college specific contexts. Through my efforts with Jeff Schinske at Foothills Community College, we created the Community College Biology  Instructor Network to Support Inquiry into Teaching and Education Scholarship (CC Bio INSITES) with the aim of increasing opportunities for CC instructors to perform biology education research at their own institutions. These efforts involve professional development and availability of resources via CC Bio INSITES. Visit our CC Bio INSITES webpage for more information on both professional development efforts and resources provided by the network.