I am a U.S. certified secondary teacher (Biology/Chemistry: 2000-2017, Michigan) as well as a professor at a Michigan college for 7 years.

In the classroom environment, lectures have to begin and end at a certain time, and you're often rushed to write things down as fast as possible. A lot of information is missed as you scramble to get everything onto your paper. I notice this with my students, which is why I started creating a blended, or "flipped classroom" approach for my classes. If a student is given access to the content, they can control lecture pace and be able to pause and "rewind" when necessary. With biology being a details-based science, having that control can make a significant difference in understanding lectures better. With Udemy, you're in charge of when and for how long you choose to learn per session. 

Understanding biology provides a foundation to understand living things around us.  When we understand how life works, it aids us in understanding the interconnectedness of organisms and teaches the mechanisms of how we evolved through adaptations and changing environments.

Much of my job involves classroom teaching, however I engage in research when opportunities arise.  Some of the scientific research I have been involved with include:

Plant allelochemics -a plant's set of self-defense mechanisms that allows it to kill off competitors. (Plants have multiple ways to battle others who are competing for their resources)

Mark-and-recapture research on a type of desert reptile, Michigan's “six-lined racerunner" whose out-of-place habitat exists in Michigan's thumb along a short stretch of roadside for only about 1500 meters. Efforts continue to establish the species ability to survive Michigan's harsh winter climate.

Radio-tracked and tagged rattlesnakes in Oakland County, Michigan as well as black bear tracking in northern Michigan.

Limnological research in Huron Township, Michigan, flora and fauna of native wetland habitats.

Bacterial hybridization projects with GFP, a green fluorescent protein that allows genetically modified species to glow in the dark.

Worked with Michigan DNR “stream-shocking" to assess the health of native fish stocks in the AuSable River system.  


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Courses taught by Thomas Amann