Fall 2016: Biology 10, Introduction to Biology
I believe undergraduate education is one of the keys to our society's success. During my Ph.D., I decided to focus my career on improving education at the college level, and am now teaching biology at Laney College in Oakland, CA. I call my teaching philosophy P.A.R.E. (Personalized, Active, Relevant, Equitable). It boils down to getting to know my students as individuals and caring for them as people, using a variety of teaching techniques that actively engage students in their own learning, giving students answers to the question "who cares?" as often as possible, and creating a fair, accessible classroom environment based on respect.
While doing my field research in Tahiti in 2008-09, I also taught two fifth-grade science classes as part of the National Science Foundation's GK-12 program. It was my first time teaching anything, but made me realize that teaching is my calling. I ended up writing a chapter of my dissertation on the program, looking at how a natural history-based curriculum can improve students' scientific knowledge.