Teaching & Outreach

Knowledge gained is useless unless it can be communicated effectively to preserve that information for the use and benefit of others or future generations.  We may not be here if our ancestors didn’t learn to communicate a way to protect themselves from the perils of their environment, or to share their methods of cultivating crops.  Not only is teaching an essential part of any academic endeavor, it is also an amazingly informing and exciting experience as well.

Teaching is a passion of mine.  I have always enjoyed discussing science, math, hobbies, cooking, and anything else that interests me.  Through discussion, it is so easy to help others to learn something they may not have known, and equally as likely, to learn something yourself.

Ecology and entomology are no different.  My excitement for these fields is apparent in my teaching.  I try to be as enthusiastic, clear, and informative as possible to my students.  All too often students fall through the cracks in STEM (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.  It is our responsibility as scientists and passionate academics to stop this from happening, and to help foster an excitement and respect for our fields.  The more we put into the teaching process, the greater the benefit to society as a whole.

It is my goal to help foster this excitement and respect through teaching any individuals (not just students in my courses) who want to learn.  Ecology and entomology provide an incredible window into the complex and beautiful planet we live on and learning about these topics, I believe, will help our society start down the path of respecting and caring for the planet we all share.

I have several goals for my teaching.  Perhaps most importantly, I believe that I can always learn as much from my students as they can learn from me.  Teaching and learning is a two-way street at all times.

I have several goals for my teaching and outreach:

  • To provide a universally accessible learning experience
  • To be an engaging and enthusiastic point of knowledge to my peers and students
  • To facilitate the mastery of a subject, concept, or otherwise by providing a flexible and evolving teaching plan that changes to meet student needs and demands.
  • To create an open, nondiscriminatory, and friendly learning environment that fosters collaborative, group based learning.
  • To convey the importance of science literacy in our society, and help produce individuals who are literate in a diverse array of scientific fields.
  • To help internalize the beauty and incredible complexity of our planet to lead to a deep caring to protect that beauty for future generations.

Teaching excites me as much, if not more than my own personal research.  The simple fact is science is an incredibly creative and exciting field that allows me to utilize my passions and knowledge to advance the knowledge of my field and any who may want to learn what I have to share.  I look forward to sharing and learning with my peers and students for my tenure on Earth.

Showing the third grade a selection of Wisconsin insects from four orders: Diptera, Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, and Hemiptera.

Showing a third grade class in Waunakee a selection of Wisconsin insects from four orders: Diptera, Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, and Hemiptera.

Insect outreach at the Wildwood Zoo in Marshfield, WI

Insect outreach at the Wildwood Zoo in Marshfield, WI