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My primary goal as an educator is to incite passion, knowledge, and competence in our wildlife students so they can be prepared as future leaders in the field of wildlife and conservation biology. To achieve this, I provide them with opportunities inside and outside of the classroom for hands on learning experiences to help them better understand the natural systems where wildlife live. Inside the classroom, I focus on providing students with the theoretical underpinnings associated with these hands-on experiences during traditional lectures and via the use of individual and team-based activities. When teaching non-majors, my goal is for students to have a general understanding of biology as it applies to their lives, including a greater appreciation and curiosity for the field of biology and the ability to think critically about science. To achieve these objectives, my underlying approach to teaching recognizes 1) students learn best by doing, 2) critical thinking skills can be taught and honed, 3) teaching cannot be effective without caring about students, and 4) it is an educator’s responsibility to also continue learning.
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