I am a geology instructor at the University of Saskatchewan and St. Peter’s College. I also co-facilitate Introduction to Teaching Online at the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Effectiveness at the U of S.
I earned undergraduate and M.Sc. degrees at the University of Saskatchewan, and a doctorate at Penn State. My scientific interests include Earth-system science, and my work has involved the use of numerical models to interpret geochemical records of ancient carbon cycles. I’m fascinated by complexity in natural systems in general, and starting to wonder about the intersection between natural and human-driven systems.
As a teacher I spend a lot of time puzzling over the best way to reach my students. At a minimum I would like them to understand and remember some of what I’ve taught them. The holy grail, however, would be to have them connect with the subject manner in a way that forever alters how they view the world. A bit ambitious? That’s just how I roll.
People who worry about this sort of thing- the hows and whys of teaching and learning- are engaged in the study of pedagogy. Very loosely defined, petrology is the study of rocks. I figure that makes my goal as a geology instructor- to imbue students with a sense of wonder at the workings of the Earth- a study in petragogy.
Currently, my projects include:
- The adaptation of an open textbook for introductory physical geology (What’s an open textbook, you ask?)
- The Twitter account Open Science Daily (@journal_365), for raising awareness of open-access science journals
- The INTJ Teacher webcomic, which started as an exercise in writing a teaching philosophy statement
- The Project, part of my transition to work outside of academia. I love teaching, but contract teaching work is no way to make a living. I hope to talk about The Project soon, but for the moment I’ll just say it’s a lot of fun, and utterly fascinating. Those are two things I didn’t expect from alt-ac/ post-ac work, and work far outside of my field at that.
Every blog needs a disclaimer, so here goes:
Disclaimer: The things I say in this blog are intended to represent my opinions only. I do not speak for any persons or organizations with whom I am affiliated. This blog is for your information only, and I am not an expert. I hope you find the information here useful, but I do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. I do not guarantee that the links will work, or that they will send you where I say they will send you. You use the information I provide here at your own risk. Should you come to harm after using information derived from this blog, I am not responsible (but I would feel greatly distressed, and wonder how the heck you managed to use this stuff to get yourself in trouble). If you choose to comment, I will not sell any of your personal or contact information, but I do not guarantee that other readers or commenters will not. I reserve the right to make changes to this blog and this disclaimer as I see fit.