Course content for the program is provided by University of Illinois - School of Integrative Biology instructors and by instructors from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction who have advanced degrees in biology or education. The program instructors are directly involved in discussion components of the courses and have several years experience in online instruction. They have designed the courses specifically for the online environment in conjunction with instructional designers from the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning.
Joanne is an instructor for the School of Integrative Biology whose passion is cell and molecular biology. She has over 20 years experience teaching upper level laboratory courses for Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Illinois. Eight years ago, she took the plunge into online teaching and has never looked back. She is an enthusiastic fan of general science outreach and literacy via her website, keeps active on social media, and even wrote a blog for Scientific American for several years. Joanne loves reading popular science books and is always up on the latest from great science writers. Her classes are guaranteed to be full of the most recent findings from the scientists working in the field and materials that are accessible to students and the general public.
Allison is a research scientist turned educator. Her research was based off the Oregon coast and evaluated and monitored toxin levels in Harmful Algal Blooms due to increased nutrient uptake. She then taught in K-12 classrooms, helping students to find pathways towards careers in science, and now serves as an instructor for the School of Integrative Biology. Allison is a native gardening enthusiast and enjoys digging in the dirt with her two daughters.
Marianne is a research scientist in the Department of Entomology. Her main research is on the physiological effects of parasitism on insect hosts. She teaches Insect Physiology at the University of Illinois. Lately she has been developing different teaching modules on "Biological Inspiration" because insects can inspire many other fields of research and spark innovation.
Barbara is a clinical associate professor in science education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education. Her research interests are focused on understanding the design of learning environments linking basic science research with K-12 curriculum. She teaches in the elementary and secondary teacher education program at the University of Illinois. She is currently the PI on a NIH SEPA grant.
David is an associate professor in science education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. His research interests focus on students' learning in science and the dynamics of instructional interactions that support this learning. He works with pre-service and in-service teachers and other students (at both the undergraduate and graduate level) in mathematics, science, and technology education, focusing on issues of student learning and understanding.
IB 534, Evolution and Medicine, is inspired by her blended course, IB 360, Evolution and Human Health. She is broadly interested in the developmental mechanisms driving morphologic diversification in mammals. Karen began her career as a paleontologist with an interest in embryology. Karen's goal is to unite the study of paleontology, development and genetics to elucidate the processes shaping mammalian evolution.
IB 533, Human Genome and Bioinformatics is loosely based on some ideas he had for a human genomics course based on the book "Genome" by Matt Ridley. Some details of the course come from his course IB 504, Genomic Analysis of Insects.
These faculty members provided assistance with IB 532, Sustainability and Global Change based on the campus based courses IB 440, Plants and Global Change and IB107, Global Warming, Biofuels and Food.
Andrew Leakey's research program is focused on improving mechanistic understanding of plant responses in natural and agricultural ecosystems to global environmental change, adaptation of food and fuel crops to global environmental change and sustainability of biofuel feedstocks.
Andrew Suarez's research capitalizes on the developmental and ecological flexibility of ants to address fundamental questions in ecology, evolution and behavior. Their research themes include looking at the causes and consequences of biological invasions using the Argentine ant as well as looking at polymorphism and specializations that may contribute to their ecological success.
Lisa Ainsworth's research focus includes understanding the dynamics of leaf growth and development, investigation of antioxidant metabolism in response to global change, and unraveling the physiological and molecular basis for intraspecific variation in plant responses to climate change. Her research aims to identify key mechanisms by which plants respond to specific elements of climate change, and use those to maximize crop production in the future.