Exercises for undergraduate seminar "Galactic and extragalactic astronomy"
University of Heidelberg, Winter semester 2010 and Summer semester 2011
Guest lectures on Galactic structure and Galactic chemical evolution
Graduate seminar "Galactic and extragalactic astronomy"
University of Heidelberg, Winter semester 2009
Guest lectures on gamma-ray bursts and globular clusters
Undergraduate seminar "Unsolved problems of modern astrophysics"
University of Heidelberg, Summer semester 2009
UC Santa Cruz Astronomy Open Lab
UC Santa Cruz, January 2006
Akamai Maui Short Course
Maui Community College, June 2004 & 2005
Astronomy 2: The Universe
UC Santa Cruz, Summer Session 2004
My teaching experience started as an undergraduate TA for introductory astronomy and physics classes at the University of Washington, and led to three years of graduate-school involvement with the Center for Adaptive Optics' outreach programs (now managed by the Institute for Scientist and Engineer Educators). The annual ISEE Professional Development Program focuses on familiarizing scientists with current education research, and specifically on incorporating hands-on and inquiry-based techniques and activities into science classes. One of the most influential things I learned from the PDP is that changing students' attitudes about their capabilities in math and science is as legitimate a goal as expanding their knowledge.
I have used my PDP experience when planning and teaching the introductory undergraduate class "Astronomy 2: The Universe" at UC Santa Cruz, and in twice planning and leading the week-long Akamai Maui Short Course, which prepares Hawaiian undergraduate students for summer-long internships and research projects in various high-tech businesses and laboratories on Maui. For these students, making the transition from student to active research participant lends a confidence in their own abilities, and their possible future high-tech careers.
In my previous position, as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Heidelberg, I had several opportunities to give guest lectures in undergraduate and graduate classes taught by my research advisor, Eva Grebel. While these classes were lecture-based, and did not allow for inquiry-type activities, I have tried to incorporate components of my PDP experience, challenging students to think like researchers, and to see that the path of scientific progress is rarely simple.