As a scientist, I am responsible for generating new data and interpreting it, but such knowledge only serves a purpose if it is shared; teaching is therefore an essential counterpart to research. Whether giving a public lecture, teaching undergraduates, mentoring younger students or working with my peers, I find teaching fulfilling and energizing.
The main tenets of my teaching philosophy are: 1) use as many teaching methods as there are ways of learning, 2) recognize students’ individual goals and support them, while encouraging them to excel beyond, and 3) teach transferable skills, especially critical thinking. My lessons are composed of hands-on classroom activities, lectures, discussions, student presentations, and when possible, field activities. I incorporate primary literature, real data, videos, talks from outside visitors, as well as textbook and nonfiction novel readings into my course materials with the goal of engaging every student no matter how he, she or they learn(s) best. I most enjoy studying the ocean with students while on the ocean! There is no better way to instill the excitement of scientific discovery, and an appreciation for all that the ocean holds, than exploring it in person. Most importantly, I aim to guide students in becoming informed stewards of their world.
Here are some quotes from my previous students in anonymous course evaluations:
“I would go out of my way to take classes with this instructor, her teaching methods were fantastic.” - Unity College student, Oceanography
“Karen is an excellent professor. I STRONGLY recommend her for any marine related class. She is a great teacher who focuses on developing your skills, engaging the class and ensuring [that you] truly learn. She is one of the best teachers and [this was] one of my favorite classes I have taken at Unity College. She did an excellent job and is a great role model for youth in the marine biology field.” - Unity College student, Oceanography
“This course was one of the most well taught courses I have taken, everything we learned was connected and reintegrated at the end of the semester.” - Unity College student, Oceanography
“This was not a required class for me as a con law major, I took it for the credits and was blown away by the class. The wide array of material used and taught showed me that Karen had a passion for her work and it was the most organized and well taught class that I have taken here at Unity. I appreciated that she made us do a considerable work load that was directly related to class...I felt that this class gave me the kind of education I would expect to get from paying tuition as a college student. Karen really deserves a pat on the back for her extremely organized and thought out work, it was some of the best work I have seen as a student.” - Unity College student, Marine Fisheries