ASM events
This conference is managed by the American Society for Microbiology
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My course load varies with each semester. The courses I teach include:

  • Ecology (undergraduate, lower division) - mostly non-science majors, some majors. ~60% coming from underrepresented and/or underserved populations
  • Ecology lab (undergraduate, lower division) - mostly non-science majors, some majors. ~60% coming from underrepresented and/or underserved populations
  • Human biology (undergraduate, lower division) - mostly non-science majors.
  • Various natural history/ecology courses of local areas (undergraduate, lower division) - mostly non-science majors, some majors


 This year I have been experimenting with taking a more student-centered approach to teaching, as well as trying many new kinds of assessments. I have many questions about how effective these changes are and the degree of impact they are having on student learning and understanding.  Many of my students are on a non-traditional college path, and many are under-prepared for college level work. Most of my students are non-science majors who have thus far had limited access to science.    


A general theme of my questions has to do with scientific literacy and how to prepare students to be scientifically literate citizens. I focus quite a bit of attention on interpreting graphs, simple data analysis and hypothesis formation. A broad question asks whether this is a good approach to fostering scientific literacy. Other questions have to do with the efficacy of my  approach to teaching these skills.    


I also am curious about how field work on real science topics that are locally important can benefit students, particularly typically STEM-underrepresented students. Will an exposure to science lead more students to believe science is accessible? Will exposure create a greater understanding of science and improve scientific literacy? Can involvement in local projects connect students more closely to their natural communities? And finally, will it help students improve their classroom performance?  Historically, community colleges like the one where I teach have focused on teaching and viewed research as the purview of four year schools.  


I’ve participated in the Community College Biology Faculty Enhancement through Scientific Teaching (CCB FEST) program, a NSF supported collaboration between San Francisco Bay Area community colleges and San Francisco State University. The goals of this program are to enhance pedagogical expertise among community college biology instructors through scientific teaching, provide resources to support instructors and to foster professional learning communities. I’ve attended weekend workshops as well as an intensive summer institute. Some of the topics we addressed were active learning, assessment techniques, addressing equity and diversity issues and learning how to collect evidence. I have helped lead a workshop on assessment techniques at my home institution. 


 For three years, I have led sessions in the annual CCSF conference for math, science and career/technical education K-12 teachers and future teachers. My workshops have focused on ways of bringing science into classrooms, particularly K-5 classrooms, with a focus on inquiry based methods. In addition, I have taught a section of introductory ecology specifically for early childhood educators (in concert with the CCSF child development program). I often have early childhood educators in my classes.  I currently teach botany for grades 1-2 at a local school. I work with the classroom teacher to connect botany with other subjects such as literacy.  


Since I first started teaching in graduate school, I’ve been interested in growing as a teacher. I’ve observed great teachers and tried to learn from them what characteristics make them good teachers. I also have done independent reading on scientific teaching.

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