Teaching Activities

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student projectI teach Population Ecology which is a fundamental graduate course in EEB. It is also taken by advanced undergraduates in Biology and Natural Resources. This course covers the basic theory of population dynamics including growth models, predation, competition, and population projection. It is team taught each Fall semester with Dr. Kirk Moloney, who is a plant population biologist.

In the spring I teach Mammalogy, alternating years with Dr. Sue Fairbanks. The lecture portion of the course is focused on the evolution and functional biology of mammals. The lab includes classical topics like “learn skulls and mammal id” but we also conduct combinations of museum and field projects such as morphometric studies and trapping surveys. In the past I taught an undergraduate course called Ecological Methods, which includes elements of statistical design, population sampling and estimation, field sampling of vegetation, and mapping habitat using geographic information systems.  For many students this is their first exposure to GIS at Iowa State University. Dr. Steve Dinsmore in NREM now teaches that course.

The most advanced graduate course that I teach is Population Analysis. Population Analysis covers statistical and analytical techniques for estimating parameters of biological populations, and is frequently taken by students from Entomology, Statistics, as well as students throughout EEB.

A core requirement for graduate students is the EEB field trip which Dr. Brian Wilsey and I led to the Northern Great Plains in 2003.

In summer 2012 I planned an undergraduate field trip, retracing the route of Lewis and Clark as a first biological exploration of the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains.


Update 08/27/2012