Patina K. Mendez

 

T E A C H I N G

Research Methods

Senior thesis seminar in environmental sciences: Instructor (2009-2016, Fall and Spring Semesters)

University of California, Berkeley, Environmental Sciences major (ESPM175 A&B, 3 credit upper division undergraduate capstone course). Year-long lecture and mentoring course focused on guiding senior undergraduate students through the process of completing a senior thesis project of their own design. Students are taught general scientific research and inquiry theory, writing skills, editing skills, project planning, data analysis, and scientific presentation. Support in the form of one-on-one mentoring is provided to help students design, plan, and execute their project. Special emphasis is placed on writing and peer editing. Co-instructed with Kurt Spreyer.

Introduction to methods in environmental sciences: Instructor (2010 & 2011, Spring Semester)

University of California, Berkeley, Environmental Sciences major (ES 100, 3 credit upper division undergraduate prerequisite for the senior thesis course). Lecture and lab based course designed to expose and train students in sampling design, data collection methods, and appropriate data analysis techniques. Students will complete both individual and group work. Lab exercises and written reports will be targeted toward providing students with experience in conducting and analyzing data for studies with differing data types and goals (e.g., natural sciences experiments and social sciences studies). Student work will submitted in the format of scientific papers to refine writing skills. Students will be expected to write and submit a project proposal for a senior thesis project to be completed in their senior year. This course serves as a foundation and prerequisite for a senior thesis course.

Aquatic Ecology & Entomology

Biology of Aquatic Insects: Instructor (2009 & 2011, Fall Semester)

University of California, Berkeley (ESPM 115B, 2 credit upper-division undergraduate course). Delivered selected lectures, developed digital media lecture materials focused on insect orders, life history ecology, and general aquatic entomology. Co-instructed with Vincent H. Resh.

Aquatic Entomology: Instructor (2008, Summer Field Course)

University of Minnesota, Lake Itasca Biological Station (ENT 4861, 3 credit upper division undergraduate and graduate course). Lecture and lab course focused on taxonomy and ecology of aquatic insects. Developed and delivered lectures focused on general entomology, phylogeny and classification, life history, behavior, and ecology for the aquatic insect orders. Additional lectures related to general aquatic ecology (respiration, functional feeding, drift, habitat, and stream ecology theory) were included. Students were responsible for completing a collection of 75 family level identifications or below to receive credit for the course. In addition to these topics, students were expected to attain skills related to collection, mounting, preservation, and quality curation techniques.

Aquatic Insects mini-course: Instructor (2005, Fall Semester)

University of California, Berkeley. Voluntarily taught a 9-week non-credit, mini-course taught for new graduate students in the Resh laboratory and other students. Course focused on taxonomy and ecology of the aquatic insect orders. Developed full power-point lectures for each of the taxonomic groups, updated Biology of Aquatic Insects course materials by digitizing and scanning updated illustrations. This course did not include a lab component.

Biology of Aquatic Insects: Graduate Student Instructor (2003, Fall Semester)

University of California, Berkeley (ESPM 115B, 3 credit upper-division undergraduate course). Full semester lab section of the Biology of Aquatic Insects course taught under the lecture instructor Dr. James L. Carter (US Geological Survey). Responsible for all lab material related primarily to taxonomy (classification, identification, and curation), some ecological concepts (e.g. biomonitoring exercises), and for student collaborative and independent projects (collections, biomonitoring of strawberry creek, and final projects). Updated and developed new lab course handouts adding background information, especially by adding modules on general entomology because most students entered the course without prior entomological experience. Received the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award for this course.

Biology

General Biology Laboratory: Instructor (2012, Fall Semester)

University of California, Berkeley (BIO 1B, 3 credit lower-division undergraduate course). Full semester laboratory and discussion section for the General Biology course that covered introductory plant, evolution, and ecology topics by 3 instructors. Lab materials were developed by UC Berkeley and standardized to work well with lecture material by the lecture instructors, with marginal room to expand. Discussion section focused on clarification and expansion of lecture material through activities and discussion. Designed supporting materials Stream Ecology Lab (Strawberry Creek): (1) history of UC Berkeley landscape and stream impacts, and (2) basic statistics. Gave instruction to other instructors on how to teach and grade scientific writing.

General Biology: Graduate Student Instructor (2007, Spring Semester)

University of California, Berkeley (BIO 1B, 3 credit lower-division undergraduate course). Full semester laboratory and discussion section for the General Biology course that covered introductory plant, evolution, and ecology topics by 3 instructors. Lab materials were developed by UC Berkeley and standardized to work well with lecture material by the professors, with marginal room to expand. Discussion section focused on clarification and expansion of lecture material through activities and discussion. Designed two projects to expand the experience of the students: (1) nature journal where students were asked to relate lecture concepts into daily observations, and (2) research seminar attendance.

Graduate Seminars

Current and Fundamental Topics in Aquatic Ecology (2005, Fall Semester)

Semester long graduate student seminar examining literature in aquatic ecology with an emphasis on pairing recent with foundational publications. Co-organized with Raphael Mazor.