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My work in teaching, scholarship, and service utilize a systems thinking approach. I will provide a framework for my approach to institutional change and efforts to reduce the structural and systemic inequities students and faculty face. I will outline the value of systems thinking as an organizing principle in the classroom. I will share strategies based on this approach that improve student engagement in classes and result in increased academic performance in our rigorous Biology classes.
Widespread tree mortality following disturbances such as droughts, fire, and pest and pathogen outbreaks has emerged as an environmentally and economically devastating ‘ecological surprise’. Increases in disturbance-driven tree mortality with further climate change has the potential to massively disrupt terrestrial ecosystem productivity and biodiversity, causing Earth’s forests to release carbon into the atmosphere.
Animals are constantly faced with decisions about what to eat, where to live, and whom to mate with. While most models of decision making assume that individuals assign absolute values to options encountered, animals often assess value relative to other options available or to options recently encountered. Such decisions can be complex, often requiring individuals to compare multiple features associated with each option and their reward payoffs. Such decisions can also produce different outcomes depending on the context of the choice.