Aobve: 490 million year old stromatolites from Lester Park near Saratoga Springs, NY. These are ancient cyanobacteria that formed dome like structures. In the image above the 'domes' have been cut in half exposing the internal concentric layers. Photo credit David Moss.
My ultimate goal in teaching earth sciences is to change the way students view their surroundings. If students leave earth science classes more aware of their surroundings, then they are more capable of making decisions that will affect society in a positive way. We are currently facing some of the most complex environmental issues in recorded history. How will we deal with climate change? What impact will an exponentially increasing population have on food supply, energy demand, and pollution? Scientists will propose solutions to these questions, but the voice of the public will ultimately drive the action. Whether or not we have a public who approaches science-based questions critically depends intimately on positive experiences with science at every level of their education. However, many students view science as not only inaccessible, but also irrelevant. Consequently, my teaching philosophy centers on three principles: 1) help students discover the knowledge they already possess, 2) praise that knowledge to build confidence, and 3) use that confidence to help change the way they view science and further their understanding of the material.
My teaching experiences are wide and varied having taught at a small and large state university, a large private university, and a small, highly selective liberal arts college. These encounters have afforded me the opportunity to interact with students from diverse backgrounds, which has fostered my growth as an educator. I am currently an Assistant Professor at Sam Houston State University where I teach Historical Geology, Oceanography, Paleontology, and Stratigraphy and Sedimentology.
TEACHING EXPERIENCE Assistant Professor Sam Houston State University, Huntsville TX (2018- ) Historical Geology (GEOL 1404) Oceanography (GEOL 3300) Paleontology of Invertebrates (GEOL 3415) Stratigraphy and Sedimentology (GEOL 4400)
Visiting Assistant Professor Vassar College, Poughkeepsie NY (2016-17) Sedimentology (ESCI 211) Extinction Events in Earth’s History (ESCI 383) Earth, Environment and Humanity (ESCI 151)
State University of New York, Oswego NY (Spring 2015) Historical Geology Laboratory (GEO 201)
Teaching Assistant Syracuse University, Syracuse NY (2012-16) Introduction to Paleobiology (EAR 325)* Oceanography (EAR 117)* Dynamic Earth (EAR 110)* Earth Science (EAR 105)* Volcanoes and Earthquakes (EAR 225)
*Served as TA coordinator – duties included developing assignments and prepping for laboratories. For EAR 325 served as the sole TA for four years and developed all lab material. All courses involved teaching either recitation or laboratory sections.
University of Oklahoma, Norman OK (2010-12) The Dynamic Earth (GEOL 1104) Physical Geology for Science and Engineering Majors (GEOL 114) The History of Earth and Life (GEOL 1024)
TEACHING AWARDS Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, National Association of Geoscience Teachers (2015) Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, Syracuse University (2014)