Since joining the faculty at Mizzou in 1971, I have taught nine different formal courses and over ten informal ones, as indicated on my list of teaching experience. In a typical semester I offer two formal courses and one or two informal ones, plus I direct the sequence of two courses in undergraduate research that is used by many biology majors as a capstone experience. My teaching schedule in the coming year is included.
I greatly enjoy teaching and find the entire process personally rewarding. In particular I get excited about locating and integrating new findings from recently published papers into a class, whether it is general biology or a graduate seminar. It is easy to find new information on almost every aspect of biology because there is so much going on in the life sciences and the internet makes most published research readily accessible. I am motivated to do this routinely because I enjoy learning new stuff and because it serves as a device to entice students into scientific research. As I learned from Tom Eisner, the natural world is so varied and complex that any well-crafted question can lead to a lifetimeinvestigation that invariably yields a host of new questions as well as significant discoveries.
I have been greatly rewarded and recognized by my colleagues at Mizzou for teaching and related contributions to our profession. One of the highest points of my career was winning the University President's Award for Outstanding Teaching. Because my wife and I have benefited over the years by support from family and friends and by personal enrichment through our association with MU, we work with MU's Development Office to give back something to the university.