I'm Director of the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center at Purchase College SUNY. I spend my time supporting course design and faculty development programming, promoting the development of virtual and physical learning spaces for campus, and generally assisting faculty in their adoption of innovative instructional approaches. My team and I are assembling a suite of open source and Web 2.0 tools, built around the college's adoption of Moodle as our learning management system in 2009 and our addition of Mahara ePortfolios, to support Purchase's strategic goal of becoming a learner-centered institution with documented student learning. I've consulted with a number of SUNY and non-SUNY campuses on their adoption of Moodle, and am involved in several SUNY groups and initiatives, such as DOODLE (the directors of online and distance education for SUNY) and the FACT2 Teaching and Learning task force.
I teach in and recently became coordinator for the Science in the Modern World program, a science seminar for non-scientists that is part of our first-year program. I also teach an online course at Purchase on the Search for Life in the Universe.
My educational background includes a BS from Iowa State (Zoology), MS from UC San Diego (Neurosciences) and PhD from University of Michigan (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology). My research background was in developmental neurobiology, plant-herbivore interactions, insect life-history evolution and clonal plant population ecology. I've taught a wide range of biology, environmental studies, honors, first-year and other courses in my past faculty positions. (For more details, see my Positions Held page.)
I'm also a bit of a Mars aficionado. My personal library is filled with Mars textbooks, Mars non-fiction texts, Mars science fiction literature and Mars films. Mars exploration, environmental studies and evolutionary biology may seem a strange combination – or maybe not. In my mind, worlds are what interest me: how they are put together, how they function, how they have come to be the way they are. The two worlds I am most interested in are planet Earth, and planet Mars. Other worlds in our solar system – e.g., Europa, Titan, Venus, Enceladus – are becoming increasingly interesting as we explore them in greater depth, and we have also begun to identify worlds beyond our solar system. It’s an exciting time to be interested in other worlds, and the potential for life on them.