Teaching Portfolio




My teaching objectives are based on my training and experience as a primary, secondary, and university level educator, the needs of the students, and my own interest in the earth sciences. In instructing introductory geology students, I have three main objectives:

1) To spark students' curiosity and excitement about the world around them. For most students, an introductory geology course is their first experience in learning and exploring science. This provides me as an educator with the opportunity to motivate students to look beyond their immediate surroundings (to teach what is outside the four walls), with the result that they become more interested, concerned, and amazed at the diversity of biological and physical environments on and within the planet. I do this by creating a positive, student-centered environment in the class (as well as outside the class, e.g., field trips).

2) To teach at an introductory level the methodologies of modern contemporary science. This is critical in ensuring that the populace has a basic understanding of science in deciding public policy.

3) To integrate up to date science and societally relevant topics into the curriculum (bringing geology "to life"). I hope to show students that entering the field of geology can be a rewarding experience, which can contribute to society. This will attract majors to geology and ensure that our discipline is enriched by bright young future scientist.

For upper level undergraduate classes, such as stratigraphy, I have two main goals.

1) To promote and encourage the use of the scientific method and the method of the multiple working hypotheses.

2) To frame any geology course using a larger multi disciplinary approach to the earth sciences. For example, I developed a term project that integrated a variety of geological applications, see above, stratigraphy lab instructor). This gave them a broader perspective and experience of the wide array of geological applications that can serve them in their future careers.