Anne Michelle Wood

Biology | 541-346-0454

Courses: BI150 Ocean Planet; BI410/510 Tropical Marine Biology 

In my courses you will: 

  • Make connections to lived experiences and real-world challenges. 
  • Explore new perspectives. 

I was invited into the Teaching Academy because: 

  • I participated in a Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching. 

In what ways are you working to make your teaching inclusive?  

I recognize that students have many different learning styles and benefit from different kinds of opportunities to demonstrate progress in a class. As a result my courses always include a variety of presentation styles that include material to read, see, talk about, hear about, and do things with (kinetic approach). Course grades rely on several different types of assignments so that less than half of the grade depends on formal quizzes or tests and the majority of the course grade accumulates from performance on a suite of lower stakes assignments that students have opportunity to complete at their own pace. Since writing in most real-world contexts is an iterative process, I also try to build opportunities for revision and regarding into writing assignments so students can actually experience the value of edits and re-edits.

At the beginning of every class, I survey student interest and goals for the class, verify preferred gender pronouns and name pronunciation, and try to follow through with tweaks to the syllabus to respond to stated student interest. I always do a mid-term assessment of teaching and discuss the findings and my intended response with students. Most classes involve contact with active scientific researchers and policy-makers either in-person or via TED talks and other media. Criteria for selection of these individuals is based not just on what they add to content, but also on how well they combine to show that there are many "faces" of science and that science is a global enterprise engaging all kinds of people. 

What do you do in terms of professional engagement with the teaching and learning culture on campus or nationally?  

I represented UO as a member of a NW PULSE (Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education) team in 2015 and have taken several short courses in evidence-based pedagogic practices including a National Academies Summer Institute and a 1-week National Association of Geosciences program in Ocean Sciences pedagogy. I also was selected to participate in a workshop in 2018 on integrating data from the NSF Ocean Observing Initiative into research-based undergraduate teaching modules. In fall 2019, I was funded by the UO Provost Diversity program to take “Mentoring the Mentor” training at CIMER (Center for Improvement of the Mentored Experience) in Madison, WI. 

In what ways was your teaching in this course research-led—informed by research on how students learn and inflected by UO's research mission?  

In Ocean Planet, students gain some personal experience of “doing" science through field trips and online simulation experiments. and personal projects that may involve data collection for "big data" projects or investigation of other online resources they could use in their own lives. They also gain tools to explore the natural world around them and an understanding how science fits into the social and political world they inhabit. Students in my 400/500 level classes use near real-time data from remote sensing programs to do projects; they also read and interpret primary literature, and often meet with scientists who write some of the papers they read. 

Who or what made you want to be a teacher? Who or what led you to this discipline?  

My mother was an elementary school teacher. We often talked about what worked and did not work in her classrooms and about the "ups and downs" of fads in education. She was an inspiration to me as a person and as a dedicated, thoughtful teacher. I got interested in marine biology snorkeling with my father on trips to places he worked in the Bahamas and in our "backyard" of South Florida. Our efforts to breed the most beautiful guppy in the world taught me to love doing experiments and testing hypotheses (although I had no idea that was what was happening at the time!).