Teaching Interests The common theme driving both my research and teaching is to improve the scientific basis for decisions in environmental policy and management. My main goal in teaching is for every student to leave one of my classes with an increased ability to think critically, logically, and creatively about evaluating information they are presented with on any scientific topic. Teaching at every level has its own unique challenges and rewards; I have been particularly drawn to engaging students who otherwise see themselves as non-scientists and helping them to develop the critical links between science and society that allow them to see why a basic understanding of earth sciences is important to them, regardless of their future careers or interests.
Most recently, I’ve been working to develop Mud Ed! a web-based collaborative effort to share informal educational resources in limnology and paleolimnology among researchers (lrc.geo.umn.edu/muded). This was inspired in part by my participation in the Portal to the Public program at the Pacific Science Center (www.pacsci.org) , designing and demonstrating an interactive exhibit to demonstrate how paleolimnology can help us learn about environmental history.
I’ve also been working with a new “Science and Technology Living-Learning Community” at UW-Bothell this fall, working on finding ways to connect interested students with research, mentorship, and fun ways to geek out about science as they share life in the dorms! (http://www.uwb.edu/housing/living-learning-communities/snt)
Other teaching and outreach activities include :
Undergraduate Teaching Experience
University of Washington at Bothell BCUSP116: Water in the West BCUSP116: Inquiry in the Environment
Pacific Lutheran University ENVT/GEOS104: The Conservation of Natural Resources
University of Minnesota
Geology 1001: The Earth and Its Environments (syllabus)
Geology 1006: Oceanography (syllabus)
Geology 1001 laboratory: The Earth and Its Environments
University of Saint Thomas
Geology 114: The Science of Natural Disasters (syllabus)
Science in the Spotlight (Pacific Science Center, Seattle, WA): Every month, scientists from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds come to the science center to share activies demonstrating thier research and sharing what it’s like to “be a scientist” with PSC visitors.
Catalyst Summer Institute (Saint Paul, MN) In collaboration with school district administrators and teachers, I developed and taught week-long programs for the Catalyst Summer Institute, a science institute and research experience for K-6 classroom teachers to inspire new interests, increase knowledge, and improve teaching effectiveness in the sciences. Teachers were mentored in short research experiences and then supported in brining their new discoveries into the classroom to share with their students.
Common X-Change Program (Saint Paul, MN) Developed lessons in cooperation with classroom teachers and led classes for 2nd and 3rd grade groups for Common X-Change, a volunteer program which brings scientists into area classrooms to inspire students and engage classrooms in investigative learning.