I teach courses in ecology and evolution, plant ecology, plant-fungal interactions, methods in field ecology, conservation biology, computational biodiversity, restoration ecology, and tropical ecology.
In both majors and non-majors classes, I emphasize scientific literacy. For instance, in conservation biology (a non-majors course), students select an aspect of Hudson Valley ecology to study and feature in a children’s book. After consulting with local school children during at least one classroom visit, the college students research their topic then write and illustrate stories that “teach” a concept or topic. These are self-published (supported by Bard Center for Civic Engagement) and donated to the classrooms and elementary school library.
In my 400-level seminar course, I ask students to distill a scientific article into images or cartoons that could be understood by a non-expert. (Student work to be showcased here…soon!)
Art and Science
I also enjoy teaching science in unconventional environments, such as the art museum. For instance, students search for classic ecological patterns (e.g. species area relationships, species abundance distributions) in landscape paintings (described here).
Accepted Students Day 2019:
Students are encouraged to use knowledge gained in the classroom and lab to talk to prospective students. They incorporate their artistic skill sets to make all manner of visual displays to help explain complicated concepts to the general public.