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I have been teaching biology in one form or another for nearly fifteen years, beginning as a volunteer teaching ecology and leading hikes for 3rd and 4th graders while transitioning from an art career to UC Berkeley where I am finishing up a PhD, and where I have been a graduate Student Instructor and mentor. I have a BFA and worked in the animation industry and commercial art world for many years. I discovered science when my own art took a turn toward nature macrophotography. As an evolutionary biologist I am interested in teaching the full diversity of life as well its chemical underpinnings. In my research I am interested in early land plant evolution and the transition of plants to land. I am interested in all groups of organisms however and how communities of organisms have changed over geological time. Botany can be especially challenging to teach. One reason that humans are more interested in animals (as a rule) is that animals seem more dynamic with their ability to move around, and of course because they are more like us. I enjoy the challenge of opening student's eyes to the dynamic lives of the plants that dominate our environments and without which we could not survive. I enjoy working with students in a variety of situations. Clear concise writing is especially important skill in the sciences and I stress with my students the importance of being both precise and concise. When learning difficult concepts in ecological and biological sciences I try to create assignments for discussion that ask students to synthesize different sources and apply it to real world situations. I feel it is important to give students tools to understand fast moving events of todays world, whether environmental crises or controversial medical breakthroughs.

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Susan’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: School of Visual Arts - Bachelors, Media Arts/Animation

Graduate Degree: University of California-Berkeley - PHD, Integrative Biology

Test Scores

GRE Quantitative: 155

GRE Verbal: 169

Tutoring Subjects


College Biology



Evolutionary Biology


Graduate Test Prep

GRE Verbal


Plant Biology


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