Matt Croxton posted an update in the group GABI-RET 2018 Cohort 6-The North American Connection 4 years, 7 months ago4 years, 7 months ago4 years, 7 months ago
1. A native Floridian, I trained to be a forester/conservationist (not a teacher!). I am working, in fits and spurts, on an M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction at USF. In the past year or so, I have become a bit of a bird nerd in my reading. I don’t mind bird watching, but I find learning about their behavior even more fascinating.
2. I teach middle and high school project-based learning in science research and imaging at Lakeland Christian School in Lakeland, FL. I grew up in this area and recently moved back to it after living in Fort Myers. I have been an educator for almost 7 years, and like Melissa, I also coordinate my school’s science fair. I designed and maintain the website for my academic unit when I’m not assisting our competitive FTC robotics team.
3. Patterns of diversification and dispersal are the most fascinating aspects of the GABI. One example I stumbled across recently is the convergence between certain taxa in North and South America: sabre-toothed smilodon in the north and a marsupial sabre-tooth equivalent in the south!
4. I would love to understand more about the ecosystems and behaviors inferred from the fossil record associated with the GABI. Like Denise, I’m interested in the conservation lessons that can be gleaned from the GABI, as I feel the next generations of conservation scientists we are now teaching must be able to imagine new ecosystems, opportunities, and consequences that will result from accelerating change.
5. A lesson plan idea I’d love to implement is getting my students into expeditionary learning through collecting fossils at the Peace River in Polk County, Florida. This is a well-known location and student finds here could stimulate lifelong interests in natural history and fieldwork. Because I enjoy seeing students instructing one another, I think there are many chances for students to “digitize and donate”—sharing the thrill of their own discovery with other students by giving away their fossils. They would learn vital museum skills for recording natural history information while experiencing the joys of giving, creating, and sharing.
Thanks for joining us Matt! I too find animal behavior to be quite fascinating. My background exposed me to animal observations, but my new challenge is to understand behavior through the fossil record. I think that your interest in digitization will be a great way to get your students involved in learning proper curatorial methods, as well as provide a spring board for them to begin their own experience with community outreach! I know that @bmacfadden will have a lot to say on both of these topics!