Dr. David Dunbar, associate professor of biology at Cabrini College, is one of just 20 scientists in the nation to complete an innovative program on helping students learn this complex science. The 20 scholars were the first to complete a year-long research residency to improve undergraduate biology education.
The educators were provided extensive resources and tools to design and implement teaching methods that would help students better learn biology. The program was part of the Biology Scholars Program, established in 2007 by the American Society for Microbiology and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
"Because of the residency, I have a much greater understanding of the scholarship of teaching and learning," said Dr. Dunbar, "and have employed several novel pedagogical tools into my course work, such as more non-lecture based course delivery methods." These methods include leading students in stream-based, community research experiments as part of the Crabby Creek Stream Monitoring Project, and overseeing student research in an honors biology course that he developed with a colleague.
The honors biology course is built around a national experiment in genomics, and was made possible by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's 2009 Science Education Alliance. With funding from the NSF and the Environmental Protection Agency, Dr. Dunbar co-directs the Collaborative Research-Watershed Citizenship Learning Community, which promotes, practices and educates on water management in Valley Creek and its major tributaries.
Dr. Dunbar joined the Cabrini faculty in 2001. He has published work in the Journal of Excellence in College Teaching , and his students have presented at the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, the National Council on Undergraduate Research Symposium, and at the nation's Capitol Building for the Council on Undergraduate Research's "Posters on the Hill." He earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Lycoming College, a doctorate in molecular biology from Lehigh University, and completed post-doctoral training at the Yale School in Medicine.