Hello, My name is Kirstin and I am a Secondary Biology and Life Sciences teacher in Texas and Oklahoma (grades 4-12). I graduated from the University of Oklahoma in May of 2017. My degree program provided me with all of the entry level life sciences (biology, ecology, chemistry 1 &2), labs ( bio, eco, independent research, principles of ecology, physiology, chem, ochem), specialized sciences (statistics, physiology, organic chemistry, evolution, earth sciences, cell biology, Environmental co... [more]
Regarding evolution, I took principles of Evolution by Dr. Thomas Ray at the University of Oklahoma. Within the course, we discussed evolution of our species and the many characteristics derived during natural selection of our species. We discussed many theories concerning the evolution of our species including common descent and events like bottle-necking that have affected our biology as an evolutionary force, along with the cultural evolution that also shaped our biology.
I took introduction to Ecology under Dr. Phil Gibson Ph.D at OU. In that course we discussed taxonomy, plant life cycles and anatomy, interactions between organisms, successional development of ecosystems, and distribution/abundance of biodiversity within an environment, as well as many other related topics. We discussed and investigated various case studies as a method to better approaching ecological issues, as well as had a laboratory requirement where we often experimented on small scales to try and find ecological solutions to real life problems. Last fall I also took principles of Ecology with Dr. Kenneth Hobson Ph.D, who is known best for his work with the Mountain Pine Beetle outbreak in British Columbia. We investigated more in depth, real-life cases of ecological relationships and interactions as well as distribution and abundance. These were much more detailed and surprising interactions than those simply shared in the introductory course. Time was spent on parasitic life cycles and their hosts. There was a laboratory requirement where we regularly went out to different regional locations and performed different experiments to better understand the layout of central Oklahoma. We were also required to design and perform our own research and present at the end of the course.
I took cell biology lecture under Dr. Warwick at the university of Oklahoma. This included an in-depth look at cell systems and components from proteins to chromosomes and gene operations. I also was required to conduct independent research and so did a small scale experiment to build support for a PhD students research showing how we can manipulate certain pathways in rice plants to produce more efficient biofuel for automobiles. It was a very eye opening experience and wonderful to work in a lab.