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Born in Belgium; American citizen. Attended United Nations International School in NY City (International Baccalaureate Program). Biological fieldwork in North America, South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and South Pacific.
Teach Biology/Environmental Science in informal or formal science education setting. Further appreciation and understanding of basic issues in biological and environmental sciences in people of all ages. Work to "reconnect" today's children to the outdoors. Nature photography - particular insects.
2002-2005 - Biology Lab and Outreach Coordinator, Biology Lab Instructor at Thomas More College (TMC) and TMC Ohio River Research Station, Crestview Hills, KY.
1998-2002 - Scientist-in-Residence at Cincinnati Nature Center, Milford, OH
1993-1997 - Research Associate at Cincinnati Museum of Natural History, Cincinnati, OH
1990-92 - Science Director at Bat Conservation International, Austin, TX.
As we begin the 21st Century, our health and well-being and the viability of our economy will depend more and more on science, technology, and sustainable healthy environments. As such, it is critical that all our citizens be scientifically, technologically, and ecologically literate.
Recent reports by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) highlight that science literacy and awareness in America are at an all time low. Another study by the National Environmental Education and Training Foundation in 2005 corroborates these findings and shows that the majority of Americans lack basic knowledge about key issues related to environmental protection even though they are concerned about this subject. For example, they do not know the leading causes of water pollution, the benefits of wetlands, or the protection afforded by ozone. In 1998, the U.S. Department of Education's Third International Mathematics and Science Study further underscored the dismal state of science and environmental literacy in the U .S. when it ranked American high-school seniors 16th out of 21 countries. The fact that 40% of Georgia high schoolers fail the Georgia Department of Education's Biology End-of-Course-Test bears out these statistics.
These disappointing findings come at a time when society is faced, almost daily, with science-based questions, conflicts, and issues that have global, moral, ethical, ecological, and financial implications that affect our own personal health as well as that of the environments on which we depend. The need to address such questions will grow in the future. Georgia's recent drought, and its many ramifications, is a good case in point.
In order to ensure our economic prosperity, thrive as a healthy society, and protect our natural resources, today's students must become tomorrow's scientific innovators and environmental stewards. Our classrooms (both formal and informal, indoors and outdoors) must become places where all students achieve a deep understanding of, and commitment to, basic detailed and complex scientific and (global and local) ecological concepts. As teachers at all levels, and in both formal and informal settings, we must strive to create an environment where students want to do this.
My teaching goal is to make science relevant to 21st Century students. I feel I am in a good position to do this because I have been a "real" scientist for more than 20 years and I am passionate about the study of biology and environmental science. I want all my students, regardless of how old they are, to "do" science as well as "study" science. I also want them to appreciate how important it is for them to be scientifically literate throughout their lives.
Updated: 15 July 2009
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