Susan Baker

Home / Directory / Susan Baker

Title
Associate Professor of Science
Telephone
(207) 621-3285
E-mail
Address

JH290

Bio

Education

B.S., Brown University, 1979
M.Ed., University of Maine, 1995


Teaching Philosophy

The study of science requires the learning of a large amount of material at a high level of detail. My goal is to facilitate the learning of science by making it accessible while at the same time developing my students‚ academic skills. Whenever possible, I use examples, diagrams, and models to illustrate complex topics. Detailed learning objectives and a list of the potential essay questions are provided for each chapter. My goal is for you to understand the material. I believe in frequent testing and multiple assignments to break the material down into smaller, more manageable units.

Learning becomes more meaningful when students see the relevance between the course content and their lives. One way I address this is by incorporating a small group project that focuses on a health or environmental issue into many of my classes. For example, in a recent introductory chemistry class students researched issues related to lead poisoning, mercury in the environment, and dioxins in Maine waters. These projects build community and add to your understanding of material in a way the textbook cannot.

Much of my teaching is guided by the belief that students learn more when they are challenged to meet clearly defined expectations and when they are actively engaged in the learning process. Students leave my courses with stronger academic skills and greater confidence in their own abilities. They gain an understanding of the process of science and an appreciation of both the complexity and the simple beauty of science.


Professional Interests

I volunteered in a mountain village in Haiti six months after the 2010 earthquake.  This experience reinforced my commitment to global health issues and lead to the creation of a course in global health.  BIO 494:  Perspectives in Global Health is a capstone option for students in Biology and BIO/MLT 2+ 2 programs.  Students in the course spend spring break volunteering in a health clinic and center for malnourished children in Cazale, Haiti. These experiences that put names, faces, and stories on the public health issues faced in under-developed countries deepens learning in a way no text, lecture, or academic reading can.  This results in a transformative learning environment.  A quote from a participant in the first academic service trip to Haiti illustrates this well.

Make a Donation to Team Haiti – Your donation supports student participation in the academic service trip to Haiti.

Susan Baker