My research and teaching are integrated thematically through my Invertebrate Paleontology, Natural History of Coral Reefs, and Dinosaurs and Their Relatives courses for undergraduates, and through my Evolution of Ecosystems, Reefs and Global Change, and Evolutionary Paleoecology courses for graduates.
I received a grant from IU’s Writing-Teaching Grant Program for incorporating writing exercises in the science classroom.
I published scholarly research with colleagues in two peer-reviewed education journals in which we addressed distinct themes: the first focused on decoding students’ knowledge of geologic time, and the second addressed the theory of STEM learning transfer – a research focus that evolved from data gathered in my Dinosaurs and Their Relatives non-science majors course.
Johnson, C.C., Middendorf, J., Rehrey, G., Dalkilic, M.M., and Cassidy, K. 2014. Geological time, biological events and the learning transfer problem. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 14(4):115-129.
Zhu, C.G. Rehrey, G., Treadwell, B., and Johnson, C.C. 2012. Looking Back to Move Ahead: How Students Learn Deep Geological Time by Predicting Future Environmental Impacts. Journal of College Science Teaching – A peer-reviewed journal published by the National Science Teachers Association. 41(3):61-66.
Participation in the Faculty Learning Program, consultation with advisors from the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL), and persistent focus on assessment of student learning and adjustment of teaching techniques led to:
The objective of this course is to increase basic knowledge of the diversity of life forms that evolved during billions of years of Earth's history. We will apply geologic and biologic principles and examine fossils in the study of Earth’s history. In particular, we will address the origin of life and the early fossil record, the theory of evolution, approaches of taxonomy, the chemistry of fossils, the ecology of ancient life, and the use of fossils to measure geologic time.
The course will address the evolutionary history of reef ecosystems through geologic time inclusive of reef composition and global distribution, modern reef development, conservation and management practices, and the persistence of the reef ecosystem through climate change scenarios. We will cover biologic, ecologic, and geologic principles as they pertain to coral reef ecosystems. We will analyze and synthesize the ecologic and environmental context for long-term biotic associations in the reef ecosystem.