Stephen R. Thomas
Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2005
3 Natural Science
100 N. Kedzie Hall
Office Telephone: 517-432-2167
Online Course Development and Illustration
My research has focused on pheromonal communication in the pink bollworm (a cotton pest) and disease dynamics in a fungal pathogen of gypsy moths. This research allowed me to answer questions related to behavior, evolution, and ecology, as well as to look at the use of scientific language and how it affects the formulation of research questions. Throughout my undergraduate and graduate training, I have taught science at the elementary, middle school, community college, university, and post-graduate levels. From these experiences I’ve become increasingly interested and focused on issues related to and development of science pedagogy.
Specifically, I’ve been interested in the role instructional technologies play in engaging students, and the connection between active and online learning. I am currently working on an online biology class for non-majors with the goal of creating a sense of community and engaging students in current developments and dilemmas in biology.
In addition to teaching, I work as a biological illustrator and am often struck by the similarities between the two professions. The goal of the lesson or illustration is to engage the student/viewer and to convey ideas without confusion/clutter.