Teacher Fellows 2004-2005

High School Teachers

Berkeley High School, Berkeley, CA

School Web Page: http://www.bhs.berkeley.k12.ca.us
Berkeley High project activities

Mardi Mertens

Teacher: Mardi Mertens
Mardi Mertens has been teaching biology, chemistry, and environmental science at Berkeley High school for 18 years. She has BA and MA degrees in music from Mills College, training in biology and education at UC Berkeley, UCSF, and Peralta College, and has conducted field research on native grasses at UC's Hastings Natural History Reserve. She places a high value on project-based learning and hands-on experience in the field and lab. "I believe this project will be of inestimable value to my students. Emphasizing the scientific process, field techniques, museum-building and a genuine appreciation for the biodiversity of the 'island' of California, my students will learn what it is to be a scientist, rather than to just study science."

El Cerrito High School, El Cerrito, CA

School Web Page: http://www.wccusd.k12.ca.us/elcerrito/
El Cerrito High project activities

Phil Wharton

Teacher: Phil Wharton
Phil teaches earth and life science to students in grades 9 and 10 at El Cerrito High School. In college, he majored in biology with concentration in botany. "I have found that hands-on experience is the most effective way to awaken students’ enthusiasm for science. When they experience science as a process, they see and relate to it in a very positive way. This can work in their future, whether as a career path or simply as a heightened and informed appreciation of science."

Pittsburg High School, Pittsburg, CA

School Web Page: http://www.pittsburg.k12.ca.us/phs/
Pittsburg High project activities

Joni Grisham

Teacher: Joni Grisham
Joni teaches 10th grade biology, the science museum course, and environmental studies at Pittsburg High School. In college she majored in biology and ecology. "I know that when I was in college, my field experiences were what swayed me towards biology. I never realized that science could be so much fun. I want my students to feel that same exhilaration. Especially with the state’s budget shortfall, there is no money to do any outside activities with my classes."

Richmond High School, Richmond, CA

School Web Page: http://www.wccusd.k12.ca.us/rhs/
Link to school Richmond High project activities

Rebecca Robinson

Teacher: Rebecca Robinson
For the past 13 years, Becky has been teaching life science, environmental science and chemistry at Richmond High school. She attended college at UC Santa Barbara where she studied environmental and systematic biology, and she has a special interest in birds. "I have had a lifelong interest in nature, and have been actively involved in field work and teaching environmental biology for many years." She hopes that this project will help her students better understand biodiversity and the ways in which scientists study it.

Middle School Teachers

Adams Middle School, Richmond, CA

School Web Page: http://www.wccusd.k12.ca.us/adams/
Adams Middle project activities

Peg Dabel

Teacher: Peg Dabel
Peg has been teaching for 20 years and now teaches science to 7th graders at Adams Middle School. She has participated in a number of field projects in paleontology and natural history. "I like being involved in this project because I am deeply concerned about the loss of habitat and biodiversity in California and because I will learn techniques and information that I can share with my students. Our students are always excited at the prospect of being involved in projects that have meaning in the real world. They are aware of the loss of biodiversity in California but have never been offered an opportunity to have more than a minute impact on reversing this loss. Through involvement in this project the students will learn to look closely at the natural world around them and provide baseline data that could effect change!"

John Eby

Teacher: John Eby
John studied natural science in college and has an avid interest in native plants. He has been teaching science in Richmond for 15 years and is currently teaching science in grades 7 and 8. He has also set up and maintains a greenhouse at Adams Middle School. John is excited about the knowledge and resources that the project will bring to his classes. "Not only will I learn techniques and information, but students will be actively engaged in a science class with a valuable real world connection. I would like to incorporate the methods and information that I learn through this project into an ongoing study of the biodiversity in the surrounding area (school grounds and neighboring Wildcat Canyon)."


Previous Years

Profiles for 2003-2004 Teacher Fellows