Teaching

I teach a variety of classes at Middlebury College. Additionally, I am happy to share my materials for seeking a job at a PUI with teaching focus. Below I provide information about the courses I teach, and materials that folks considering liberal arts education might find useful.

Teaching at Middlebury

BIOL 140: Ecology and Evolution
In this introduction to ecology and evolutionary biology we will cover the topics of interspecific interactions (competition, predation, mutualism), demography and life-history patterns, succession and disturbance in natural communities, species diversity, stability and complexity, causes of evolutionary change, speciation, phylogenetic reconstruction, and population genetics. The laboratory component will examine lecture topics in detail (such as measuring the evolutionary response of bacteria, adaptations of stream invertebrates to life in moving water, invasive species and their patterns of spread). We will emphasize experimental design, data collection in the field and in the laboratory, data analysis, and writing skills. This course is not open to seniors and second semester juniors in the Fall. 3 hrs. lect./disc./3 hrs. lab DED SCI

BIOL 310: Microbiology
The microbiological principles emphasized in this class will provide students with a foundation for advanced study in many areas of contemporary biology. The course will integrate basic and applied aspects of microbiology into a study of the prokaryotic microorganisms. General principles of bacterial cell structure, function, and the role of microorganisms in industry, agriculture, biotechnology, and disease will be discussed. An independent laboratory project will stress basic microbiological techniques as applied to the isolation, characterization, and identification of microorganisms from the natural environment. (BIOL 0140 and BIOL 0145 and CHEM 0203) 3 hrs. lect./4 hrs. lab./1 hr. prelab. SCI

BIOL 365: Molecular Microbial Ecology
Molecular microbial ecology (MME) uses leading-edge molecular tools to study the interactions and diversity of microorganisms in the natural environment. MME covers topics ranging from ancient polar microbes, the human microbiome, and possibly life beyond Earth. This course will discuss papers that highlight modern technical approaches and form the current theoretical framework in microbial ecology. The laboratory will examine the structure (who is there) and function (what are they doing) of microbial communities in environmental samples. We will cultivate novel microorganisms and analyze nucleic acids via community fingerprinting, functional gene analysis, and the computational exploration of metagenomic datasets.  (BIOL 0140, BIOL 0145 and CHEM 0103 or 0104 or waiver) 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab SCI

BIOL 371: Advanced Field Biology: Place-based Global Biology Education
In this upper level biology course, we will conduct field-based scientific observation, sample and data collection, and interpretation of biological phenomena. Students will be deeply engaged in off-campus, place-based learning far outside Vermont practicing molecular and population genetics, ecology, biogeochemistry, and site mapping. The course is two weeks off-campus and two weeks on-campus conducting group research projects integrating field observations with laboratory analysis. Students will collaborate and partner with local community members on intercultural projects with ethical local impact and relevance. Open to Biology majors or by waiver. (BIOL 0145 and BIOL 0140 and a 300 level BIOL class with laboratory or by waiver)

BIOL 449: Extremophiles: Conquering Earth’s Extreme Environments
Even the most extreme environments are teeming with microbial life. From highly acidic streams to hydrothermal vents with temperatures exceeding 120ºC, microorganisms manage to not only grow, but thrive. How? We will utilize biogeochemistry and cellular biology to characterize these unique microbial processes, and their impact on ecosystems, through critical reading and robust discussion of primary literature. Student-driven research will provide opportunities for advanced oral and written communication skill development. (Any 300-level BIOL course with lab, or by waiver) 3 hrs. sem. SCI

FYSE 1560 Gut Check: Exploring Microbiomes
Imagine there were an organ in your body with a mass similar to that of your heart, which trained your immune system, affecting your weight and perhaps even your behavior. Wouldn’t you want to know? There is such an organ — your microbiome, the collection of microbes in and on your body. You are not alone, corals, squid, beetles, and many other organisms harbor microbiomes that generate nutrients, produce light, and defend their host organisms in hostile environments. We will read I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong, as well as other popular science and research papers to investigate these fascinating microbes. CW

BIOL 500/700/701 and MBBC 700/701: Ind. Study/ Senior Ind. Study/ Senior Thesis

Teaching Resources

I applied for five faculty positions before landing at Middlebury College. I’ve written several iterations of my application materials. Below are the materials I submitted in my application to Middlebury College. As well as a link to a post about applying to, and interviewing for, a job at a liberal arts college.

Cover Letter

Teaching Statement

Research Statement

So you want to work at a Liberal Arts College?