Category Archives: Teaching

Through the Looking-Glass – My Wild Adventure at BugShot

Piotr’s advice – dig a hole
(Photo by Miles)

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to to go to Bugshot on Sapelo Island, GA to take pictures of bugs (and as it turns out, lots of herps) with three of the world’s best photographers; Alex Wild, John Abbott, and Piotr Naskrecki.

(PS you can click on all the pics to enlarge them)

The marshes of Sapelo

The marshes of Sapelo

Sapelo Island is a coastal barrier island and one of the things that makes it so unique is its multiple eco-zones moving inland from the beach. The eco-zones  include the beach, primary dunes, secondary dunes, marsh, pine forests, and oak forests. Sapelo also has a rich history which we were fortunate enough to learn about. (Thanks Wade!)

While I was definitely the least experienced photographer on the excursion, I  learned so much, not just from the instructors but from the other students. I think that was one of the best features of BugShot, everyone could learn something from someone. Not only did a I learn a lot about photography, but each of the instructors gave a great natural history talk about their group of interest which was one of my favorite parts about BugShot.

But pictures are worth 1000 words, right? So come follow me on my journey with some unconventional photography work. Continue reading →


Evaluating Student Evaluations

Student Evals

Student evaluations have always been something that I’ve found valuable. As a student I was blissfully unaware about the underwhelming power my voice had on a sheet of paper at the end of the semester and as an instructor I hang on almost every word of the student evaluations.
However, I’m not going to talk about the absurdity of the system where no one, except teachers who care, read the evaluations. Instead, I’d like to refute some of the main points laid out in this article.

I’ve only gotten into teaching in the past three years, so what I have is based on personal experience. That being said, I’ve had a very different personal experience than this gal.

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Making the Cut: Demonstration Videos

This is one of the first demonstration style videos I did. It's about how to pin butterflies and moths.

This is one of the first demonstration style videos I did. It’s about how to pin butterflies and moths.

Some of my Twitter friends have asked me to give some tips about making videos. Since “Demonstration” style videos were the most requested (basically, one person requested), here we go!

So far, I’ve only done a few demonstration style videos, which include how to collect insects in different habitats and how to process those insects.
Despite my limited repertoire, I’ve learned some things along the way and would like to share =).

For those of you who don’t know, you can visit my YouTube channel at

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“Won’t Grading be Boring?”

When I was first musing about becoming an educator, people would often ask me “Won’t it be boring grading the same thing over and over?”

I didn’t have a good answer. But now I do.
“Sure, if you’re uncreative enough to design boring assignments – then it will be boring to grade.”

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Trifles Have a Charm of Their Own

Lake Herrick
Photo Credit: Dewayne Neeley

I have a Latin calendar that I usually joke is the oracle. Yesterday’s Latin calendar was “Inest sua gratia parvis” which roughly translates to “Trifles have a charm of their own”. It was very charming when I had to crawl into  50 degree Lake Herrick on a 50 degree day. This all started when I attempted to lasso a fallen student’s test out of the water with a secci disk.

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