Teaching

Philosophybirdwatching

My experiences as an undergraduate at a teaching-focused university led me to develop a strong philosophy of learning as an interactive process between teachers and students, where students should be able to connect with material in a way that is relevant to their lives. In my experience, what students take away from the classroom are not just the facts presented in lecture, but an increased curiosity in the subject, an ability to engage in critical discussion, and hopefully, a new appreciation for the world around them.

Through my teaching at Utah State University (including developing and instructing a full course), Valparaiso University, and with the Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry Foundations, I have explored several alternate teaching methods. I have experience leading traditional lectures, discussion based classroom activities, lab exercises, field identification trips, flipped classrooms, and interactive class activities, each method with it’s own strengths. I have found that a mixed format of discussion, short writing assignments and quizzes is effective to gain frequent feedback on teaching style and student understanding.

I believe that an important role for scientists is to give back and I see training students and fellow scientists as a major component of this. I have enjoyed my teaching and mentorship activities and I look forward to mentoring young scientists in the future, whether they choose to pursue research or seek alternate careers.

Courses

Instructor:

  • Evolutionary Biology, developed and taught entire undergraduate course as the instructor
  • Software Carpentry Workshops (Washington University, Boston WiSENYU, University of Michigan WiSE), developed and taught course material on programming concepts to undergraduate and graduate students, and faculty at various institutions.
  • Data Carpentry Workshops (University of Wisconsin-Madison), developed and taught course materials on data hygiene and management to undergraduate and graduate students, and faculty.

Guest Lecturer:

  • Evolutionary Biology, Macroecology 

Educational Outreach: 

  • K-6 environmental education, Valparaiso, IN
  • “What is a scientist”, K-6 presentation, Hastings, NE
  • “Women in science who code”, all-girls high school discussion for CS Education week, Baldwin School, Bryn Mawr, PA

Educational Blog: Teaching Software CarpentryPortal Project

SWC-WiSE-2013

Pedagogical Training

  • Research Mentor Training Course, Center for Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (2016)
  • An Introduction to Evidence-based Undergraduate STEM Teaching, Center for Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (2015)
  • Software Carpentry Instructor Training (2012)
  • Teaching Assistant Training, Utah State University (2007)

NSF Postdoctoral Fellow