I am a faculty developer, biologist, science education researcher, and science communicator.
I work at the Colorado School of Mines in the Trefny Innovative Instruction Center, assisting educators with professional learning to achieve classroom learning goals.
Prior to faculty development, I worked as a senior research scientist at Michigan State University on three STEM education and science communication research projects:
EleVate energy. Most recently, I worked with teachers in mid-Michigan middle schools to help students learn about energy in a physical science context. The work compared established curriculum (e.g. IQWST — which presents energy in its various forms and then considers transformation) and novel curriculum that presents energy transfer both within and between systems. This appointment was with the CREATE for STEM institute.
Carbon TIME (Transformations in Matter and Energy). With this project, I investigated aspects of environmental science literacy in 6–12 grade settings in Michigan, Colorado, and Washington. The work was centered around the use of Carbon TIME, an in-depth biology curriculum based on learning progression research. The team studies how teachers teach and students learn about carbon-transforming processes – chemical changes that are responsible for the structure and function of all living systems. These atomic-molecular changes as the foundation of the organismal biological processes of digestion, biosynthesis, photosynthesis, and respiration, but scaling up, form the foundations for understanding basic ecology and are critical to understanding global carbon cycling and climate change. In this work, I helped develop curriculum modules; managed teacher networks and professional development, designed and ran teaching workshops; collected classroom data, and created classroom media. For more information on this project, see the website here and a 2015 video presentation by PI Dr. Andy Anderson, here. For Carbon TIME, I was affiliated with the Teacher Education Department, College of Education at MSU.
GK-12 program (BEST: BioEnergy SusTainability). My first position at MSU was project manager for the MSU W.K. Kellogg Biological Station’s GK-12 program, providing science communication and professional development for STEM graduate students; science education and professional development for K-12 teachers; long-term scientists-in-the-classroom, project-wide citizen science, inquiry, and data-driven projects for K-12 students (phew!). I taught 6 semesters of graduate seminars for some truly amazing Fellows and ran workshops for southwest Michigan K-12 partner teachers in the KBS K-12 partnership.
During my time at MSU, I also had the opportunity to engage in my own professional and career development as an NIH BEST (Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training) Fellow.
Aside from faculty development and science education and communication research, I am also a biologist!
My broad research interests are in mating system evolution, behavioral ecology, and conservation. I received my doctorate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2012 from the University of Kansas. There, I used an annual western North American wildflower, Mimulus guttatus, the common monkeyflower, to investigate questions concerning plant adaptive responses to pollinator loss, trait evolution due to pollinator preferences, and cryptic patterns in flowers (specifically patterns visible only in ultraviolet [UV] light). Please see my research page for more information about projects.
Aside from academia, I am an avid birder, equestrian, runner, amateur photographer, and traveler. I can be contacted at bodbyl AT mines DOT edu.