Scott Linneman, '83 Carleton College Geology graduate who teaches at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA has been named the state’s Higher Education Science Teacher of the Year by the Washington Science Teachers Association.
“This is really affirming of the work so many teachers at Western do,” said Linneman. “I put a lot of work into my teaching. I work to incorporate a lot of field experiences that demand extra time from both myself and the students – but it’s worth it.”
For example, Linneman takes his Geology 301 students on an overnight field experience to the Goodell Creek valley near Newhalem each fall on a landform mapping exercise.
“These students get to do some authentic field work, but just as importantly, they work alongside the geologists from the National Park Service, and see what their jobs entail. It’s a great experience,” he said.
The criteria for nominations for the award included enthusiasm and excitement for teaching science; effective delivery of scientific content and processes; and promotion of science education beyond the classroom.
Linneman serves in a dual role at Western; besides working as a professor of Geology, he is also a faculty member in the Science, Math and Technology Education (SMATE) program, working to train the next generation of science teachers.
“It was exciting for me to see that the teacher who won this year’s Middle School Science Teacher of the Year award, Jody Dylan of Mount Baker Middle School in Mount Vernon, is a SMATE alumna,” he said. “It shows me again how our work is paying off and helping others.”
Dylan, who is also a graduate of Western’s Woodring College of Education, said her work with Linneman and the SMATE faculty have been instrumental in shaping how she teaches science in middle school.
“Scott’s particular influence on my teaching came through his facilitation of the geology content immersion through the North Cascades and Olympics Science Partnership, and his administration of the GK-12 program. These two experiences truly helped me become a better science teacher. I think that Scott's award is well-deserved, and is a reflection on the SMATE faculty as a whole,” she said.
Linneman received his bachelor’s degree from Carleton College and his doctorate from the University of Wyoming.