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Teaching & Outreach

Ecology Lab (Instructor)

Collecting Phytoplankton at Otis Lake

Collecting Phytoplankton at Otis Lake

I had the opportunity to work as an instructor of a 5-week intensive ecology course. Because the course was held at Kellogg Biological Station, I took advantage of the outdoors as much as possible: I taught topics such as succession in Michigan Lake dunes, biodiversity in phytoplankton communities in nearby lakes, and behavior ecology using damselflies (Calopteryx maculata) in the Agusta Creek. Every class, students conducted an experiment.

Catching damselflies at Augusta Creek, MI

Catching damselflies at Augusta Creek, MI

Studying primary succession at Saugatuck State Dune Park, MI

Studying primary succession at Saugatuck State Dune Park, MI

Teaching Evolution in Action (Instructor)

This was a new program offered at KBS to future middle school and high school science teachers (Pre-service teachers) to develop a deep understanding of science and pedagogy to engage their students in an authentic science learning experience.

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Conducting an artificial selection experiment using Fast Plants

We provided them with an integrated, field-based research and educational experience at KBS that combined coursework in ecology with biweekly seminars about how ecological processes lead to evolutionary change. I lead the inquiry-based activities, including artificial selection of trichome density and natural selection on milkweed reproductive traits in the field (Teaching Evolution in Action website).

 

NSF GK-12 Program

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GK-12 Fellows 2012

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Workshop on plant-rhizobia interactions for  school teachers

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Middle school students identifying plant species.

I served as an NSF GK-12 fellow at the Kellogg Biological Station for two years (2011-2013). In collaboration with teachers from elementary, middle, and high schools in rural schools across southwest Michigan, I developed inquiry-based lesson plans covering topics including ecology, evolution and statistics. For example, using plants and rhizobia as a study system, I have developed lesson plans that allow students to go through all the steps of the scientific method. I also went to Oval Beach in Saugatuck, MI, with students from Kalamazoo Area Math & Science Center (KAMSC) to teach dune succession, which was a lot of fun!

I have mentored 20 high school students from an AP Biology class at Plainwell High School and 14 of them presented their independent projects at Michigan High School Math and Science Symposium at Grand Valley State University.

For more information about GK-12 program at Kellogg Biological Station, check out the link here.

You can also check out the GK-12 bi-annual newsletters I contributed to here:

Spring 2013
Winter 2012
Spring 2012
Winter 2011

Teaching Assistance Experience

During my Masters and PhD program, I had the opportunity to serve as a teaching assistant for six courses: Introductory Biology Laboratory, Evolution, Research Skills for Theoretical Ecology, Microbial Metagenomics, Evolution and Ecology Laboratory. Each course gave me great experience teaching and communicating science effectively.

I taught the Ecology Laboratory course at MSU for two semesters. Besides covering the main topics in ecology, students conducted independent research projects and I facilitated the entire process of scientific methods from formulating testable (and interesting) questions to analyzing and interpreting data they collected.  The Microbial metagenomic course was an intensive summer course for advanced undergraduate and graduate students at KBS. I helped with the lab activities to characterize microbial communities at the LTER field site and various logistics to accommodate students from all over the country. I also taught Introductory Biology Lab for two semesters at University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UN-L). We covered a variety of topics in biology ranging from animal anatomy to genetics.  While at UN-L, I also taught the lab portion of Research skills for Theoretical Ecology, which was offered through the Research for Undergraduates in Theoretical Ecology (RUTE) Summer Program. This summer program was targeted at high school senior students who are interested in math and biology. They explored the predator-pray dynamics of ladybugs and aphids using empirical experiments and mathematical models.

Outreach Materials

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