PhD, University of Kansas
MS, Purdue University
BS, Purdue University
I have always been interested in biology, and my background and experiences are broad. Throughout my studies, I have been drawn to microbiology and genetics, and have combined field and laboratory components to my research.
I came to Ashland by chance with my family and was fortunate to almost immediately fill a vacant faculty position at Northland. I have enjoyed its strong environmental mission, its committed students, and dedicated faculty.
I typically teach a freshman introductory biology class and other “little things” classes such as cell biology, microbiology, and immunology. I especially enjoy my freshman class because students are new to college and have an interesting and ever-changing perspective. However, I also teach the students at the tail end of their college career in Biology Senior Seminar, a course in which students utilize the skills and knowledge they’ve acquired at Northland.
My research at Northland has focused on water quality of lakes and streams in the Ashland area. More specifically, I am interested in E. coli bacterial levels and what environmental factors lead to fluctuations in their numbers. My work has always involved students in the field and lab work, and for many years I have involved my freshman-level biology class in E. coli monitoring in Bay City Creek. Thus, student learning and direct student engagement in a specific environmental issue is also an aspect of my research.
My introductory biology students are directly involved in Northland College's zero discharge stormwater initiative. Each fall, these students collect water samples weekly from the campus's stormwater outfalls that flow into Bay City Creek. Students learn and practice standard protocol in the water collection and the processing of samples for E. coli. The data we collect is essential for the College moving forward on this initiative, but it is also analyzed as a class exercise and the results presented in a poster at the end of the semester.
I enjoy baking, gardening, hiking and traveling. I am also active in our church, serving in a variety of capacities.