Teaching

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AWARDS

Commonwealth_Massachusetts_GPazyMinoC_AwardCommonwealth of Massachusetts Citation for Outstanding Performance, Science Education, 2007 (image left); award presented by Dr. Janelle C. Ashley and Governor Deval Patrick.

Office of Faculty Development, UMass Dartmouth: Innovation in Teaching Award: “Communicating Evolutionary Theory to Large Audiences: A Model for Science Education, Scholarly Work in Education, and Public Outreach,” 2010.

Center for Teaching Excellence, UMass Dartmouth: Departmental/ Interdepartmental Teaching Development Grant: “Quantitative Biology Made Fun and Easy: Integrating a Game, a Clicker and a Computer,” 2008-9.

Center for Teaching Excellence, UMass Dartmouth: Active Learning of Evolutionary Theory in the Galapagos: A Faculty-led / Study-abroad Initiative at UMass Dartmouth, 2007-8.

 

Student evaluations of Guillermo Paz-y-Miño-C.’s courses at UMass Dartmouth 2007-2014: an average approval of 85 percent in 42 courses, (r = 75-95 percent), N = 2,317 students

Paz-y-Mino-C student evaluations 2007 - 2014 

COURSES

EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY BIO-437/537 Advanced Undergrads and Graduate Students

BIO-437/537 Evolutionary Biology is an intensive, university-upper-level and discussion-based course for Biology Majors (437) and Graduate Students (537). It encourages students to develop analytical and discussion skills in evolutionary theory.

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Evolution Discussion Group in BIO-437/537: Student Aron St. Laurent (center) leads the group (Katie Cardullo, Stephan Martell, Ashley Nolan, Lidia Konomi, Malaurie Fedna, Elsa Yeung, Katie Spindel, Nichole Williams, Alex Simolaris (G. Paz-y-Miño C. © photo)

The course is based on discussions of scientific articles, weekly outlines of scientific readings, weekly book reviews, oral presentations of scientific articles, summary handouts by discussion moderators, review papers, take-home assignments, and dynamic class participation.

Catalogue Description BIO 437/537: “An overview of contemporary evolutionary biology with an emphasis on micro and macro evolutionary processes; an advanced and in-depth study of the evolutionary forces of mutation, natural selection, gene flow and genetic drift; a comprehensive analysis of evolutionary theory, its paradigms, scientific evidence and controversies.”

Objectives: Evolutionary Biology is the forum in which the students’ analytical skills and critical thinking consolidate. It is a challenging journey where full commitment is required. As a consequence of exploring scientific paradigms, students retain much information concerning the scientific evidence for micro- and macro-evolution, the practical applications of evolutionary theory in medicine, psychology and biodiversity conservation, and the current controversies around evolution, creationism and design-creationism. Most importantly, students become independent explorers of evolution and learn to value its significance as the unifying theme of all sciences.

 

BIOLOGY OF ORGANISMS BIO-121/122 and BIO-131-132 (includes BioHonors)

LECTURES: BIO121/122 Biology of Organisms is a two-semester INTENSIVE and UNIVERSITY-LEVEL lecture course for Biology Majors. It provides students with strong foundations for upper-level courses in Biology. BIO121/122 should be taken together with BIO131/132 Biology of Organisms Laboratory, separate courses.

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Students in Bio-Orgs Lecture (G. Paz-y-Miño C. © photo)

Catalogue Description BIO 121/122: This course for biology majors is an introduction to structure, function, and behavioral adaptations in the world of living organisms. During the initial half of this two-semester course, cell origin, structure and chemistry, basic cellular physiology, and genetics are emphasized. The second semester covers the diversity and evolutionary relationships of living organisms, culminating in an in-depth study of a selected ecosystem. Pre-professional aspects are emphasized during both semesters for the biology major student. Field experiences, writing, and problem-solving are integrated into the course work.

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Students in Bio-Orgs Lecture (G. Paz-y-Miño C. © photo)

Objectives: Biology is the arena in which the students’ analytical skills and critical thinking develop. It is a challenging journey where full commitment is required. As a consequence of exploring scientific hypotheses, students retain much information concerning the structure, function, and behavioral adaptations of living organisms. Most importantly, students become independent explorers of biology and learn to value its philosophical and practical significance in today’s world.

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 Students in Bio-Orgs Lecture (G. Paz-y-Miño C. © photo)

 

LABORATORY: BIO131/132 Biology of Organisms Lab is a course for Biology Majors. It provides students with strong foundations for upper-level courses in Biology. BIO131/132 should be taken together with BIO121/122 Biology of Organisms Lecture, separate courses.

Objectives: After completion of BIO 131/132, students are knowledgeable about how the scientific method works. Students learn that nature is measurable and factual (=observable) and that biology provides naturalistic explanations about life processes and patterns. Concepts such as science, scientific method, hypothesis (≠prediction), null hypothesis, alternative hypotheses, scientific theory (≠populous “theory”), are clearly understood. Students master descriptive statistics (normal distribution, range of values, percentage, mean, mode, median, standard deviation) and statistical CONCEPTS such as dependent vs. independent variables, experimental vs. control conditions, pseudo-replication vs. pooling fallacy, representative sample of a population, probability of event occurrence, facts = observations, association between variables or correlation (≠causation), p value, Type I and Type II errors, inconclusive results. Students learn to use spread sheets of data and the fx formula function in Excel to generate descriptive stats (above), and both build simple tables and graphs (plus interpret them: histograms, pies, line graphs, scatter diagrams). Students learn to write a manuscript-like paper ( BIO 131), design a scientific poster (scientific-meeting-style, BIO 132), and prepare  5-min power-point oral presentations (scientific-meeting-style, BIO 132). Students feel comfortable using basic laboratory equipment and understand safety procedures concerning lab-work environment; ultimately, after completing BIO 131/132, students develop basic skills to continue their training at any research laboratory and/or contribute to any research project in biology.