Science faculty co-author poster for ecology conference
The faculty at Upper Iowa strive to keep up with advances in their disciplines and teaching. One way to do this is through applying for and receiving a faculty summer stipend. Dr. Jennifer Stoffel, assistant professor of biology presented a co-authored poster at the Ecological Society of America Annual Conference in Portland, Ore. from Aug. 5-9, 2012, which was attended along with over 5,000 ecologists. The poster entitled, "Ecology education in the post-secondary setting: opportunities abound for integration and transference," by Stoffel, Nigel George, Katherine McCarville, Jeffrey Butikofer, and Kerry Opel was motivated by multi-disciplinary discussions and collaboration within the Division of Science and Mathematics.
During the conference Dr. Stoffel attended several science talks ranging from carbon sequestration and fluxes in forest ecosystems to talks which related broadly to ecology or soil and water conservation. Also while near Portland, Stoffel was able explore some of the forest areas of the Columbia River Gorge near Multnomah Falls. Dr. Stoffel has already incorporated some of the information from the research talks and outings into her courses for this fall.
The conference also has a strong focus on ecology education with oral and poster sessions on pedagogy to educational research along with workshops where scientists can share their ideas on teaching. One workshop Stoffel participated in was entitled, "Formative assessment: just do it! Rapid response undergraduate feedback." During this workshop Stoffel was able to learn some formative assessment strategies from other faculty and was able to share some of the strategies used by Stoffel and others at UIU.
Based on her participation and poster presentation discussions at the ESA Conference, Stoffel was invited to participate in the Non-Majors Biology Leadership Conference in Seattle with 20 other biology faculty from across the United States in September 2012. The conference focused on active-inquiry strategies and non-majors biology assessment.