Plant ecologist honored by Ecological Society of America

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A post-doctoral scholar and instructor in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has been recognized by the Ecological Society of America as a 2011 ESA Education Scholar.

Emily Rauschert, a plant ecologist who works in the Crop and Soil Sciences Department's Weed Ecology Lab, also was appointed by the society to a two-year term as a contributing editor of the Ecological Society of America EcoEd Digital Library.

The ESA Education Scholar Award is intended to support the development of the society's EcoEd Digital Library and is made possible through a grant from the National Science Foundation. The goal of EcoEd Digital Library is to provide scientists and educators a forum to contribute and locate peer-reviewed ecology-education resources that are scientifically sound and pedagogically useful to prepare young ecologists for 21st century science.

Education Scholars are designated by the society as Education Review Board members or contributing editors. "This year, nine individuals received the award, having been selected through a highly competitive process," said Katherine McCarter, executive director of education and diversity programs for the society.

"We are delighted that Dr. Rauschert will be joining us in developing innovative resources to support ecology education, and we are confident that her knowledge and expertise will be a tremendous asset to our project."

Rauschert is a regional team leader for Faculty Institutes for Reforming Science Teaching, a National Science Foundation-funded program to train post-doctoral scholars in biology teaching at the college level.

She also currently is developing a teaching-assistant training course for the University's Biology Department, focused on pedagogical training for science teaching. This is intended to become a class for undergraduate teaching assistants, as well as a training workshop for graduate teaching assistants.

Rauschert has taught several introductory courses in the Biology Department and given a number of pedagogical workshops at Ecological Society of America annual meetings.

Her recent research is focused on identifying and mitigating human-mediated vectors of invasive plant species spread.

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Last Updated October 24, 2011