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LSU Today Flagship Faculty
What was your previous position and where?I was a part-time assistant professor-research in the Institute for Environmental Studies, now the Department of Environmental Sciences.
What brought you to LSU?I first came to LSU as a master's student in library science. After working for a few years as librarian, I returned to LSU as a Ph.D. student in the geology and geophysics department.
What are your research interests?One of my research interests is geomicrobiology, the study of the interaction of microorganisms with soils, sediments, rocks and minerals. My work focuses on some of the oldest rocks on Earth; I am interested in learning about life and environments that existed on our planet more than three billion years ago. Such information can help us develop strategies for searching for evidence of life on other planets.
I am also interested in the challenges involved in the communication of environmental issues to a variety of audiences. I am responsible for communicating the research findings of the LSU Superfund Research Program to environmental professionals, government agencies, health professionals and the general public. I have been involved for the past 16 years in professional development workshops for teachers that are aimed at increasing teacher content knowledge and confidence in teaching science.
What do you hope to accomplish at LSU?I want my students to graduate from LSU well-prepared to face the challenges that they will face in their own lives and in their communities, equipped with content knowledge, problem-solving skills and a sense of social responsibility.
What do you enjoy most about LSU?I enjoy the people at LSU more than anything else. Interacting with students is both rewarding and energizing, and working with our dedicated faculty and staff is very gratifying.
What are your major accomplishments?I am proud to have contributed to improvements in the environmental management systems curriculum. The three core classes that I teach are service-learning classes in which we have teamed with such partners as the East Baton Rouge Recycling Office and the LSU Sustainability program. The classes are also certified as communication-intensive courses by the LSU Communication across the Curriculum program.
An ongoing effort of mine, the success of which is difficult to measure immediately, is encouraging young women who are interested in science to pursue scientific careers. I present at events such as the Sally Ride Science Festival, am a lecturer for the Association for Women Geoscientists, and often serve as a mentor for young women conducting research at the high school and university level. I am very proud of my first Ph.D. student, Lashunda Anderson, who is now an assistant professor at Alcorn State University.