Anderson University Professor of Biology Dr. Daniel Ippolito is a strong supporter of hands-on teaching methods, believing them to be an essential part of biology education. One method he is currently using in biology classes is stream assessment.
Stream assessment uses local water sources to test the quality of water in a particular area and to determine what organisms inhabit it.
“The beauty of the stream assessment exercise is that it can be tailored to students at various levels of expertise. It’s also just a fun activity to do,” said Ippolito.
Last fall, Ippolito gave a presentation on stream assessment at the Indiana College Biology Teachers Association conference in Hanover, Ind. “Since Anderson has the White River within walking distance of the campus, this topic seemed to be the right one to present on,” said Ippolito.
The paper, titled “More Bang for the Buck: Stream Assessment Labs as an Introduction to Both Field Work and Number-Crunching,” discussed the educational value of stream testing as part of a student’s biology curriculum.
Professor of Biology Dr. Kimberly Lyle-Ippolito also attended the conference. “He represented AU with great dignity,” said Lyle-Ippolito. “He brings an incredible intellect and breadth of knowledge to his teaching.”
Ippolito also utilizes stream assessment at the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies in Mancelona, Mich., where he teaches an aquatic biology course as a member of the summer faculty. Senior Matthew Bursley, a biology major, attended Ippolito’s course in Michigan, and has taken two courses from him at AU. Bursley sees the value in stream assessment, and he appreciates Ippolito’s passion for incorporating this into his lesson plans.
“His paper clearly indicates his wealth of knowledge on the topic. It will help other teachers learn new insightful ways to approach steam analysis,” said Bursley. “I have learned so much just from the three courses I have taken with him. He teaches something insightful every day in his classes.”
— Eva Christine McKnight is a sophomore from Batesville, Ind., majoring in communication arts and minoring in dance performance and English. McKnight is an associate with Fifth Street Communications™, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the seventh consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.