Courses Taught

Courses Taught

Biological Literature and Communication (St. Ambrose University)

This upper-level course for biology majors helps students build critical skills in scientific writing, oral communication, and critical analysis of technical literature.  Student develop an understanding of, and appreciation for, the writing process, as well as the key steps in designing and executing a research project.  This writing-intensive course culminates with the submission and peer-evaluation of an NIH-style grant, in efforts to prepare students for future work securing research funding.

Climate Change and Human Health (St. Ambrose University)

This general education course introduces students to the many facets of human-caused climate change, as well as its current and future impacts on plants and animals, human food systems, and global healthcare systems. Students explore topics of their choice through directed case studies, utilize computer models and simulations, evaluate primary and popular literature to gain a deeper understanding of the societal factors affecting this new climate reality.  The course culminates with an inquiry-based greenhouse experiment growing corn and soybeans in altered climate conditions, complete with a research paper and oral presentation of findings.

Environmental Science (St. Ambrose University)

This general education course introduces students to the dynamic planetary processes that drive our environment, as well as humanity’s role in shaping and changing those processes.  The course covers a breadth of topics, from environmental ethics to invasive species ecology, from soil degradation to urbanization, and from water pollution to climate change and renewable energies. Students also get to explore any topic of their choosing through a structured, semester-long experience writing an informational research paper citing academic literature.

Ecology (St. Ambrose University)

This upper-level course for biology majors helps students develop an understanding of, and appreciation for, interactions between organisms and their environment, particularly as it relates to community structure. Students design and implement their own ecological research project, complete with statistical analysis and formal presentation at the end of the semester.

General Biology Sequence (St. Ambrose University)

This 2-course sequence introduces students from biology and exercise science majors to key concepts in biological study through the lens of contemporary issues and challenges. A key emphasis is placed on the nature of biology as a discipline, such that students can build skills in inquiry and scientific evaluation, through both lecture and laboratory components. In both courses, students undertake the design, implementation, and analysis of two unique research projects, for a total of four projects (spanning 3 model systems) in their first year of biological study.

Principles of Biology (St. Ambrose University)

This course introduces students from nursing and allied health majors, among others, to key concepts in biological study through the lens of contemporary issues and challenges. Students explore the foundational content and applications of ideas such as cancer, genetic modification, selective breeding and climate change to gain a greater understanding of and appreciation for our natural world.  This course involves a laboratory component, in which students explore relevant topics and design their own experiments to gain further understanding about biological content.

Sustainability Capstone (Honors, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, Spring 2017)

This senior course explores topics related to sustainability from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students read academic and popular literature on ecological, social and economic components of sustainability, critically discussing the content as a cornerstone of course content.  The students directed class sessions, developed several academic research papers on topics related to sustainability, and participated in debates on contemporary sustainability issues.  This course also involved students in service learning and analysis of sustainability projects around campus.

Ecology (Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College)

This upper-level course for biology and environmental science majors explores the interactions between species and their environment at the levels of organism, population, species and ecosystem. This course incorporated discussion of contemporary case studies, critical analysis of primary literature, and undergraduate research experience in field work, including data collection, statistical analysis and the writing of a formal academic article.

Ecological Math Modeling (Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College)

This upper-level course enables environmental science and math majors to understand how research data can be incorporated into useful models to understand ecological interactions. Content included case study discussions of population growth models and oscillations, Lotka-Volterra predator-prey relationships and trophic cascades, and infectious disease and epidemiology. Students also explored a topic of their choosing to develop an appropriate model from peer-reviewed data available from the primary literature.

Applications of Environmental Science (Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College)

This upper-level course for biology and environmental science majors emphasized the ecological, social, public health, and economic impacts of environmental actions and events. This course incorporated discussion of contemporary case studies, critical analysis of first-hand literature, and technical assessment of challenges and solutions in environmental applications. Students prepared several academic research papers and presentations on these topics, including a feasibility study of a campus improvement project, to further engage their interactions with the content and prepare them as scientific communicators.

Environmental Concerns (Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, Spring 2017)

This introductory online course covered a diverse array of topics including air and water quality, meteorology, geology, ecology, evolution, conservation, agriculture, energy, and sustainability. Many of these topics were framed from the perspective of human/environment interactions and included detailed discussions of climate change, economics and sociopolitical conflict. Finally, I required students to submit an academic research paper on a topic of their choosing, further engaging their interactions with the content and introducing them to scientific writing.

Scientific Communication Series (Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College)

This upper-level course for pre-professional, biology and environmental science majors covers biological research methods and the writing of academic manuscripts.  Throughout the semester, students develop their research projects from idea into full, properly-formatted proposal.  Students practice peer review strategies and delve into the details of biological research practices and ethics.

Principles of Biology II (Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College)

This introductory course for biology majors covered relevant content in evolution, ecology, and anatomy and physiology. I team-taught this course with a peer faculty member, developing and implementing a syllabus, lecture materials, lab activities, and assessment tools. Students engaged with the content via adaptive online exercises, interactive lecture activities, and inquiry-based student-designed lab experiments.

Integrative Sciences (Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College)

This two-semester sequence prepares education majors to confidently and successfully instruct scientific courses and modules in an elementary or middle school classroom.  This course covers topics from physics, chemistry, astronomy, geology, meteorology, biology, and environmental science. Students prepared and presented lesson plans on course material, in addition to gaining tactile experience with potential lessons and activities in a lab setting, to better prepare them for any instruction in science they would need to give as successful educators.

Biology: Unity and Diversity (Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College)

This course introduces general studies students to key concepts in biological study through the lens of contemporary issues and challenges. Students explore the foundational content and applications of ideas such as cancer, genetic modification, selective breeding and climate change to gain a greater understanding of and appreciation for our natural world.  This course involves a laboratory component, including the dissection of a fetal pig.