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2019 ESA Education Scholars

Data Explorers

We are pleased to announce the 2019 ESA Education Scholars who participated in the ESA-QUBES Data Explorers Faculty Mentoring Network who implemented modules from selected Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology (TIEE). The scholars have shared the products of their efforts in and added commentary to the TIEE modules cataloged in the EcoEd Digital Library (EcoEdDL). Please follow the links below to access the products and EcoEdDL.

2019 Data Explorers Faculty Mentors

ESA greatly appreciates the contributions and support of our two Faculty Mentors for the Data Explorers FMN:

John Doudna

Lecturer of Biology, Lake Michigan College

Dr. John Doudna is a Lecturer at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, Michigan. He teaches introductory biology for non-majors as well as anatomy and physiology. His research has focused on foraging behavior and habitat use in heavily-modified landscapes (e.g. agricultural landscapes). He is currently focused on increasing the use of open educational resources and active learning to improve the accessibility of biology. 

Kiersten Newtoff

Assistant Professor of Chemical & Biological Sciences, Montgomery College.

Kiersten Newtoff was one of the two co-mentors for the 2019 Faculty Mentoring Network. She is a biology professor who teaches Environmental Biology for non-majors and Ecology and Evolution for majors. She involves students in her courses to get involved with the environment around them including trash clean-ups, bird observations, and volunteering with local environmental organizations. Her pedagogy focuses on integrating quantitative skills and reasoning in her courses by implementing activities that get students out of the classroom and into the world.


Meet the 2019 ESA Education Scholars!

Jillian Decker

Rockland Community College, State University of New York

Dr. Decker teaches General Biology, Microbiology, Ecology, Genetics, and Research Experience in Biology. Her research interests include nutrient impacts on phytoplankton community structure and ecological function and the ecology of algal life history stages in large rivers. Dr. Decker has conducted field experiments in the Upper Mississippi River and identified/ enumerated phytoplankton from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Long-term Resource Monitoring sample archive (the nation’s first large-scale effort to monitor river health). Her research has identified key nutrient effects on algal species composition and distribution in various river systems.

Module 1

Investigating human impact on stream ecology: locally and nationally

Module 2

Processes that Regulate Patterns of Species and Genetic Diversity

Valerie Greene

De Anza College

Valerie Greene is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Science at De Anza College in Cupertino, CA. She is a Marine Biologist by training and her background includes work on invasive species, benthic-pelagic coupling, water quality, plankton population dynamics, bioaccumulation and magnification studies, and how carbon moves through ecosystems. Her graduate research was the first to focus on the feeding ecology of an invasive bivalve on microzooplankton in the San Francisco Estuary. Before coming to De Anza she worked as a Biologist at the U.S. Geological Survey monitoring water quality and invasive species.

Module 1

Exploring the population dynamics of wintering bald eagles through long-term data

Module 2

The Effect of Climate Change on Butterfly Phenology

Catherine Sughrue Etter

Cape Cod Community College

Dr. Catherine Sughrue Etter is a Professor at Cape Cod Community College, where she teaches a variety of courses, such as the Survey of Environmental Technology, Introduction to Environmental Science, Hazardous Materials, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Instrumentation, Earth Science, Biology, and Anatomy and Physiology. As a teacher, she implements a universal design, adopts open educational resources (OER), and uses student-centered activities in her lesson plans.

Module 1

Local Impact from the Evolving Epidemiology of West Nile Virus

Module 2

How does nutrient pollution impact stream ecosystems locally and nationally?


Kristen Kaczynski

California State University, Chico

Dr. Kaczynski is an Assistant Professor in Department Geological and Environmental Science at California State University, Chico. She teaches Introduction to Environmental Science, Applications of Environmental Science, Applied Ecology and Wetland Ecology. Students in her classes know they will be using R! Dr. Kaczynski’s broad research interests are in plant ecology, specifically disturbance and restoration ecology in wetland ecosystems. Her applied research helps to inform management decisions.

Module 1

Exploring the population dynamics of wintering bald eagles through long-term data using R

Module 2

Investigating human impacts on stream ecology: Intro to R

Megan Kelly

Loyola University, Chicago

Dr. Megan Kelly is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Environmental Science at Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago. She teaches a core curriculum two-semester sequence in environmental science and introductory chemistry and serves as faculty advisor to 20 students. Her professional interests include learning communities, quantitative literacy in environmental science, and expanding access to STEM higher education.

Module 1

Processes that Regulate Patterns of Species and Genetic Diversity – Intro Environmental Science

Module 2

The Effect of Climate Change on Butterfly Phenology – Intro Environmental Science

Michelle Phillips

Hawaii Community College

Michelle Phillips is an Associate Professor in the Department of Math and Natural Sciences at Hawaii Community College in Hilo, HI. She teaches General Biology for non-majors and Introductory Biology courses for Biology Majors. Michelle’s background includes marine biology, resource management, deep-sea biology, and examining how organisms are affected by changes in the environment, including climate change effects. Michelle also runs the STEM center on the campus and a study abroad in Belize where students examine environmental issues in tropical ecosystems.

Module 1

Investigating Human Impacts on Hawaiian Fishpond Ecology

Module 2

Investigating the Ecology of Mosquitoes and Birds in Hawaii

Pamela Scheffler

University of Hawaii: Hawaii Community College

Dr. Pamela Y. Scheffler is an Associate Professor in the Department of Math and Natural Sciences (MNS) and in the Tropical Ecosystem and Agroforestry Management (TEAM) Program at Hawaii Community College, Hilo, HI. She teaches Environmental Science, Agroforestry, Forest Pest Management, Natural History, Ecology, and Biology courses. Dr. Scheffler’s research interests include tropical ecology, community ecology, and species interactions, the application of conservation biology to agriculture through agroforestry systems, and invasive species dynamics in island ecosystems. Dr. Scheffler serves as Chair of the MNS Department, Program Coordinator for the A.S. in Natural Sciences Program, and co-Coordinator for the TEAM program.

Module 1

Investigating human impacts on local Hawaiian stream ecology

Module 2

The nose knows: How tri-trophic interactions and natural history shape bird foraging behavior. Introduction to data visualization.

Kaitlin Stack Whitney

Rochester Institute of Technology

Kaitlin Stack Whitney is a professor in both Environmental Sciences and Science, Technology, & Society at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She teaches introduction to environmental modeling, conservation biology, environmental policy, and environmental history courses to lower and upper-level undergraduates.

Module 1

Modification of “Exploring the population dynamics of wintering bald eagles through long-term data” module

Module 2

Modification of “The Effect of Climate Change on Butterfly Phenology” module by Linton et al.