Since my appointment as Director of the Center for Science Education in 2000, the focus of my work has evolved from preparing biologists to preparing teachers of science, some of whom might also be biologists. I am actively involved with a University work group tasked with distributing the responsibility for educating educators from a single department to the entire campus. My expertise is in part, then, the result of a type of immersion.
I earned my Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at UCLA's Molecular Biology Institute. I've done research in the fields of Drosophila embryogenesis and murine T-cell commitment and lung morphogenesis. I've taught "Immunology" and two lab courses, "Working with Proteins" and "Selected Immunochemical Techniques" for the MS in Applied Molecular Biology graduate program at UW-Parkside and currently teach an online course, "Molecular Biology and Biotechnology," at the Masters level for secondary teachers of science.
I teach "Foundations of Science" for non-science major, preservice, preK-9 teachers. It has become overwhelmingly apparent that teachers are choosing not to teach this centerpiece of the life sciences because of personal beliefs. I'm constantly in search of techniques and philosophies that might help raise the level of understanding of evolution in our society. A key population on which to focus these efforts is elementary and middle school teachers. Helping future teachers to become comfortable with the concept of evolution could go a long way toward returning evolution to the heart of the study of life, where it belongs.