Teaching

Sustainable Biosphere (BIO 359)

This is the first lecture course I have ever taught. It is intended for honors students with a major in Biology. My goals for this course are for students to understand how anthropogenic activities impact natural ecosystems across the world and recognize unsustainable practices in a variety of areas: agriculture, forestry, mining, water use, etc. I want students to think about these relationships in terms of biological processes (drawing on knowledge they have learned in other courses) as well as social and economic issues. We also discuss sustainable solutions or alternatives to these problems, and how much progress has been made. I enjoy being able to bring current news stories into the classroom to use as examples and make the course content more relatable.

Semesters taught: Fall 2016


Analysis of Biological Data (BIO 496/596)

This was a pilot course co-taught by myself and Dr. McEwan with the intent of teaching applied statistics to upper-level undergraduates and grad students. Our goal was to give students a skill set that would allow them to choose and perform appropriate statistical analyses for biological datasets. My role was to develop a set of tutorials for teaching students how to use the R statistical programming language (implemented in class) as well as homework assignments for students to practice and demonstrate their mastery of the program. We had several students head off to graduate school later and e-mail us to say they were so glad they had taken this course because they needed know how to use R for their graduate program!

Semesters taught: Spring 2015


Plant Diversity and Ecology Lab (BIO 407L)

This lab is similar to a traditional dendrology course in that students are taught to identify a variety of local tree and shrub species, but it goes a step further by providing information about life histories and habitat associations. As a TA for this lab, I helped teach students identifying features for various species as well as training students how to use dichotomous keys (in particular, E. Lucy Braun’s The Woody Plants of Ohio). I was also responsible for grading quizzes and exams, and developing indoor lab activities in case of inclement weather.

Semesters taught: Fall 2011


General Ecology Lab (BIO 310L)

This lab covers common methods for acquiring data in various ecosystems: Forests (point-center-quarter method, plot sampling), streams (macroinvertebrate sampling, seining, measuring water parameters using a YSI Sonde probe), lakes (plankton tow, secchi disk, measuring water parameters), old-fields (transect intercept sampling), and wetlands (delineation methods). In my role as TA, I have assisted students with all of the above methods, as well as identification of organisms encountered.

Semesters taught: Fall 2017, Fall 2018

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Invertebrate Zoology Lab (BIO 461L)

Students in this lab are given the opportunity to see and handle organisms (both living and preserved) described in the accompanying lecture. There is a strong focus on organizing specimens based on taxonomy and common features. As a TA, my duties have included setting up and cleaning up labs, assisting students with dissections and slide-making, grading exams and lab reports, and giving an introductory overview at the beginning of lab. Unique to this course is the practice of making permanent microscope slides each week from representative taxa.

Semesters taught: Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018

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Marine Biology (BIO 320L)

A three-week field course taught in Hawai’i (Big Island, Oahu, and Maui) with a strong focus on coral reef ecology and tropical fish species identification. Students were also exposed to a variety of ecological conservation and restoration programs in Hawai’i, as well as learning about the island chain’s geology and history of volcanic activity. As a TA, my duties included assisting students with species identifications and other questions, and helping with the day-to-day logistics of transportation and meal-planning.

Summer 2018


Concepts of Biology Laboratory I: Cell and Molecular Biology (BIO 151L)

Course intended for Biology and related majors. Topics covered include the scientific method, cellular transport, enzymes, cellular respiration, photosynthesis, cellular communication, cell division, genetics, and genomics biotechnology (polymerase chain reaction & gel electrophoresis).

Semesters taught: Fall 2010, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015


Concepts of Biology Laboratory II: Evolution and Ecology (BIO 152L)

Course intended for Biology and related majors. Topics covered include proteomics biotechnology (protein extraction & gel electrophoresis), evolution and diversity of protists & fungi, evolution and diversity of plants, evolution and diversity of invertebrates, human evolution, behavioral ecology, population ecology, community ecology, and ecosystem ecology.

Semesters taught: Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014


General Biology Lab (BIO 101L)

Course intended for non-majors. Topics covered include the metric system, use of microscopes, cell structure & function, organic molecules, cell division, asexual & sexual reproduction, animal development, genetics, theory of evolution, diversity of life (taxonomy), human biology, and ecosystems & sustainability.

Semesters taught: Summer 2012