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Education Research and Development


  • Our Chamaecrista Genomics Explorer is a curriculum development project and we are currently doing research on the effectiveness of a web-based scaffold on student learning. In collaboration with Jodi Schwarz at Vassar College, we have adapted this interface to Aiptasia, a model system to investigate coral bleaching. JMP Genomics featured the data visualization aspect of this work. We received the Science Price for Inquiry Based Instruction for our work in 2013.
  • Teaching Big Science at Small Schools: With support from the Teagle Foundation, colleagues at Williams, Vassar, Carleton, and Barnard are developing and assessing genomics learning experiences for undergraduates. Examples from Carleton to date include a SNP lab and a lab on the Evolution of Cauliflower and Broccoli. Details of the project can be found in our December 2009 white paper on Big Science at Small Colleages.
  •  Scaffolding Conceptually Driven Genomics Education: Can we develop a computer interface that allows students to work with vast amounts of genomic data while keeping their focus on biologically important questions?  The NSF CCLI project's specific research objectives are to: 1. determine how undergraduate students' scientific thinking skills are enhanced by an authentic research experience in the context of a course; 2. analyze the role of scaffolding in supporting student research success; and 3. identify generalizable components for computer-based scaffolding of open-ended research. We're using a mixed-methods assessment approach
  • Carleton's Dyad/Triad Program: An integrated first term experience that brings first year students together to explore a themetic question across disciplinary boundaries. The fall 2008 Dyad/Triad students are exploring "Origins and Minds" in introductory courses in biology, philosophy, and psychology (triad only) taught by Susan Singer, Roy Elveton, and Kathie Galotti. We continue to assess this approach to interdisciplinary learning with the support of Carleton's HHMI grant.
  • Cognitive Science Department: Part of my appointment is in the Cognitive Science Department and my teaching responsibilities focus on applications of research on learning to undergraduate science education.
  • Textbook writing: I am part of the author team for Biology, a McGraw-Hill majors introductory biology book, wrote about plant development in Scott Gilbert's Developmental Biology text, edited and contributed to the Carleton project published as Reflections on Learning as Teachers, and wrote a chapter on "Inflorescence Architecture" for the book on Flowering and its Manipulation (Charles Ainsworth, editor, Blackwell Scientific, publisher).
  • Case Study: My colleagues, Debby Walser-Kuntz and Sarah Deel and I have published a case on SNPS and genome privacy: "SNPs and snails and puppy dog tails, and that's what people are made of..." A case Study on Genome Privacy. The National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science Case Collection, SUNY Buffalo.
  • In addition to my teaching, I coordinated the Perlman Center for Learning and Teaching from 2000-2003 and continue to co-facilitate our New Faculty Workshop. I served on the Teacher Education Advisory Committee.

Science Olympiad

 I coach the Northfield High School Science Olympiad Team. The team's having a great season and enjoying working with Carleton student mentors.