I enjoy finding fun and interesting ways to impart information to students of all ages. I understand that students learn in different ways and strive to incorporate a variety of methods in my teaching. I find experiential learning to be particularly useful, and provide “hands-on” components to my teaching when possible. On this page, I list my formal teaching experiences. Please see my Outreach and Volunteer Work page for other opportunities I have had to communicate science to non-academic audiences.
Sustainability: Reducing Impacts on Planet Earth (GEO 206), University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Co-Instructor, Spring 2015
This upper-division undergraduate course taught by Professor Mike McKinney is an introduction to all aspects of environmentally sustainable living from the individual to global level. Topics included overpopulation and overconsumption, carbon footprints, sustainable home and city design, ethical purchasing decisions, greenwashing, green infrastructure, green technologies, and many other ways for people to understand and reduce their impact on the environment. As a co-instructor, I prepared and gave lectures on topics such as sustaining biodiversity through conservation, restoration, and reconciliation, and sustainable food choices. I also helped create, administer, and grade exams and weekly homework assignments.
Plant Communities of California (PLS 147), University of California, Davis
Head Teaching Assistant, Spring 2011, 2012, 2013
Plant Communities of California, taught by Professor Truman Young, is a well-loved course among upper division undergraduate and graduate students studying ecology and plant sciences at UC Davis. The most appreciated aspects of the course are the field trips: two day-long trips and two weekend-long camping trips to some of the state’s most beautiful plant communities! As head teaching assistant for three years, I helped plan and organize these field trips, and taught students plant community survey methods and plant identification in the field. In the classroom, I gave lectures on California aquatic plant communities, helped compose, administer, and grade exams, and held pre-exam study sessions. I also independently developed a homework curriculum to assess students’ comprehension of required reading.
Wetland Ecology (ESP155), University of California Davis
Teaching Assistant, Fall 2012
Taught by Professor Eliska Rejmankova, this course covers all aspects of wetland ecology, from physical and chemical processes to ecological interactions. As a teaching assistant, I facilitated discussion on interesting scientific papers and topics in wetland ecology in weekly discussion sections, gave lectures on riparian ecology and restoration, and helped develop, administer, and grade assignments and exams.
Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Tallahassee, FL
Environmental Specialist, February 2008-August 2009
Part of my job at the Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection was teaching professionals state-mandated Standard Operating Procedures for water quality sampling at the University of Florida’s environmental training center (TREEO), and teaching SOPs for biological community sampling (macroinvertebrates and algae) in the field. At FDEP, I also created and delivered hands-on outreach presentations (usually including live aquatic invertebrates!) on water quality indicators for students, K-12 teachers, and the general public.