I discovered my love of teaching by participating in a slew of science outreach opportunities during graduate school. As I completed my PhD I took on various opportunities to work with students of all ages, trying to share my passion for ocean conservation and the sciences in general. I took on more formal teaching roles as a middle school science teacher and as a visiting professor of environmental studies. My strengths lie in explaining complex concepts in words that fit the understanding level of student that I am working with. I like to use humor to put students at ease, find ways to make the information relatable to the lives of my students, and working to find ways to re-explain concepts to my students until they show they understand our topic for the day. I believe that it is extremely important for students to learn about the interconnectedness of the natural world, and enjoy helping them make them make new discoveries and reach a higher level of understanding.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Eckerd College - Bachelors, Marine Biology / Environmental Studies
Graduate Degree: University of Miami - PHD, Marine Biology and Fisheries
Soccer, yoga, rock climbing, kayaking, snorkeling/diving, cycling, hiking, camping, fishing, reading, etc.
Anatomy & Physiology
Graduate Level Biology
High School Biology
High School Chemistry
Middle School Science
Q & A
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session with a student, I would take time to have the student explain what information they already know and what their goals for the tutoring session are. Ideally, I would have either a class syllabus or topic to use to prepare some initial materials to go over, but the first session is really about discovering what the student's needs are.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I believe it’s important to continually ask students the question, "Why?" If the student can explain to you how they get to their answer, it shows that they understand the topic. I like to create practice problems or scenarios that would force the student to spend time thinking on their own of how to get from start to finish. Additionally, I would give them topics to research on their own, so that when we come together we can put together the pieces they have researched on their own with pieces learned from classes, for greater understanding in the tutoring session.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Students needs positive reinforcement. I try to make sure that students don't dwell on what they don't know, but focus on what they do know. It is my job to help the students recognize that learning is a process, with no instant results.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I like to bring as many real-life scenarios into study sessions as possible. When talking about some of the fundamentals of science, students get lost in the jargon. I believe it is very helpful to show how scientific concepts relate to a bigger picture, particularly to their everyday lives.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Practice, practice, practice. When it comes to math or problems that require you to repeat steps, I like to have students continue to do practice problems until it becomes easy. When it comes to concepts, I like students to explain their answers out loud or in writing to me. If you can explain a topic to someone else, it shows true mastery of the subject.