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  • Organization
    Collin County Commuity College District

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  • Biography

    I am an Ecosystem Ecologist who teaches Environmental Science at a community college in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area in Texas. After working in environmental consulting and academia for a number of years, I found my professional home teaching and conducting research with undergraduate students at Collin College. Many of my students are “non-traditional” students: veterans, international students, and first-generation Americans, who are working and supporting families while completing course work; many of them are the first in their families to do so.

    I have been teaching Environmental Science (first and second semester courses) at Collin College for two years now. Each semester, I teach multiple sections of two courses (first semester and second semester Environmental Science) to mostly non-science majors. In these courses, we discuss everything from basic Chemistry to Environmental Racism. My biggest challenge is keeping the course from becoming "Why Humans Are Bad 101" and focusing our discussions on solving the immense (self-inflicted) challenges that face us. I try to do this by providing my students with data and opportunities to use those data to develop their analytical and problem-solving skills.

    The Black Live Matter Movement has given me a sense of urgency about focusing my students' attention on Environmental Justice issues and promoting discussions about addressing the injustices that have been allowed to persist in our communities despite decades of efforts by many very brave people. Because so many of these injustices are rooted in how we have organized and created our communities, I plan to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools and spatially related data to help students understand and develop solutions for these issues.

    In the last two years, my professional development activities have focused on conferences, workshops and networks that promote inclusive pedagogy and the use of data to teach Science, especially to non-majors.

    The Undergraduate Research Experience Activity that I am currently developing is one that uses Forest Ecology and Ecological Succession to prompt students to think about land use changes and how they influence ecosystems in space and time.


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