Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Aquatic Biology
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Biology and English, High School
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Master Teaching Fellow
Name of Noyce institution:
University of California Santa Barbara
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
San Marcos High, Santa Barbara Unified School District
I attended the University of California, Santa Barbara for my undergraduate and received a BS in Aquatic Biology as well as a minor in English. While attending, I participated in many hands-on research projects, including a field study researching sheephead predation effects on purple and red urchins at the Channel Islands. I was also a research aquarist at an aquarium facility, maintaining a population of endangered white abalone and conducting informal science education of K-12 students based on the California state standards. I have used these two primary experiences to influence my teaching and inject both personal anecdotes and practices into my own curricula in Santa Barbara.
Why do you want to teach:
I feel students, especially in science, should understand the relevance of the subject outside of the classroom, and connect with it. The classroom is just a tool for helping students make those connections to the real world. My goal is to help students foster those connections and better understand the scientific world all around them, both inside and outside of the classroom.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
During my student teaching in Santa Barbara, we conducted a “dry lab” that focused on the evidence of evolution. Students rotated around the different lab stations and observed different kinds of physical evidence: vestigial structures, homologous structures, similarities in DNA, fossil evidence, and layers of rocks to name a few. The analysis students were able to do, and the way and which they were able to connect evolution to humans was everything a teacher asks for; it was appropriate as well as accurate and respectful. They made it relevant to themselves, were engaged, and asked questions along the way that showed their critical thinking.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce Program has provided a science and math community at UCSB that I now consider my close friends and family. We meet often to share ideas and discuss teaching, and I know I can express myself openly and freely. Everyone is welcoming and provides helpful feedback when needed, and I feel that our program goes above and beyond what it means to be successful in the classroom, and I attribute that to what the Noyce program has done for our faculty and school.