My teaching interests, like my research interests, revolve around the neural and physiological control of behavior. When teaching, my goal is to get my students to tap into that sense of wonder and questioning that we have all experienced when we turn over a log in the forest or conduct a new experiment in the lab. In my lower level courses I take a “Socratic approach” to my lectures where I try to get every one of my students to ask and/or answer questions in each and every class. This helps to keep the students engaged and increases both learning and enjoyment of the class. My upper level courses are focused on doing research with the students. At the beginning of these classes, I introduce 4-7 different areas that I know have several “open’ research questions. I provide a broad background into these areas and then let the student try to come up with some good research questions that are “doable” within the course of a semester. We then spend the next several weeks conducting research from “soup to nuts”: reading articles, formulating hypotheses, collecting and analyzing data, re-doing some experiments, writing up their results and presenting them at a conference. Importantly, as a teacher/researcher I try to help them to develop their voice along the way so that they develop the ability to ask questions and to feel comfortable asking them. Thus, in these classes, the focus is on critical thinking and the process of doing science. We have been very successful with this approach and have presented dozens of posters at a variety of scientific conferences.
General Biology II
Introduction to the Academic Community
Human Biology I
Human Biology II
First Year Seminar: Human Impacts