Teaching & Outreach

Geological studies are critical to understanding Earth’s past, providing context for ongoing and future global change questions.  Climate change is a phenomenon of immense gravity, and by incorporating real-world examples of its importance (such as climate change impacts on glaciers and sea-level rise) into my teaching, I equip students with the requisite context and knowledge to help them become scientists and decision-makers that can contribute positively to society.  Rooted in geologic principles, I encourage students to question their own thought processes, to form hypotheses and answer research questions based on the available information, while communicating the importance of understanding how past Earth system changes developed and how that information can be distilled and used to better predict future Earth system fluctuations. Additionally, I understand that undergraduates can struggle with math anxiety, and thus, I am committed to teaching basic physics, chemistry, and math behind geologic principles. I nurture these skills by creating a learning environment that is both welcoming to and supportive of questions, promoting confidence in my students’ scientific communication and math literacy skills, so that students can leave the course and apply their knowledge to new applications and endeavors. Furthermore, I actively keep track of research opportunities, and to date, five of my former students have research assistant positions in labs at UW-Madison, two of whom I am currently mentoring through research projects.

In April 2017 I was inducted into UW-Madison’s Teaching Academy as a Future Faculty Partner.

Here are the courses that I’ve been a Teaching Assistant for:

University of Wisconsin- Madison

Spring 2016, 2017          Glacial and Pleistocene Geology

Spring 2017                      Geomorphology

Fall 2015, 2016                 Introduction to Geological Structures

University at Buffalo

Spring 2014            GIS for Earth Science

Fall 2013                  Global Environmental Science 1

Fall 2012                  Mineralogy

Beloit College

Fall 2010                  Environmental Geology

Glacial & Pleistocene Geology Spring 2017 field trip to Horicon Marsh with Prof. Luke Zoet

Outreach

During the calendar year 2015 I took part in the The Wisconsin Idea STEM Fellows program, in which I developed (along with a colleague WGNHS) an outreach activity for children and families pertaining to my research about the Wisconsin River.  We carried out the activity at three outreach events, including the Wisconsin Science Festival  and UW Science Expeditions.  Each events let us contact more than 200 people, and I hope to keep participating in these events for the rest of my PhD!  As of now, I’m participated in these events four times.  During Fall 2016, the paleoclimate lab had a table at the Wisconsin Science Festival, discussing past and future climate changes with our visitors.

I also participate in the Madison Middle School Science Symposium, a great and fun way to inspire young scientists.  In 2015, my group of 8th grade students worked on a project about acid rain.  In 2016 I worked with two separate groups of students, one did a project about the geochemistry of Lake Monona in Madison, the other searched for micrometeorites in sediment from Death Valley.  In 2017 I’m working with a very motivated group of 7th grade students to look at how the subsurface affects the viscosity of lava flows using gak and corn syrup analogues.

During the academic year 2016-2017 I served as a coach for the Madison West High School Science Olympiad team (Dynamic Planet event).

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