“What could be more important than biology?” Alan Giese asks his students. It’s the key to understanding everything from athletic performance to why we haven’t yet cured the common cold, everything from how genes shape individuals to how evolution has shaped the biosphere, he says.
Giese’s approach to teaching comes from a wealth of personal experience. As a wildlife biologist, he studied peregrine falcons, California condors, bald eagles, northern spotted owls and northern pygmy-owls. Although he occasionally misses bouncing along a rough sea hanging off the bow of a Zodiac in pursuit of oil-soaked sea birds, he has found his place teaching biology at Lyndon State and living in the Northeast Kingdom. His primary goal as a biology teacher is to get students directly involved with the subject matter. “Maybe we’re in the lab trying to control our own heart rates or maybe we’re out on show shoes thinking about how animals deal with winter. Either way, students in my classes experience biology as they learn it.”
“Lyndon is a wonderful place to be,” he says. He appreciates the rhythm of the seasons and the mountains that define the Green Mountain State. And he also appreciates Lyndon students. He finds them eager to learn and willing to put in the hard work necessary to master the subject. “There is nothing better than seeing a student grow and mature during their years at Lyndon and know I had something to do with their success,” he says.