David Koetje

Biology Department

Calvin College

Since earning his PhD degree in Plant Molecular Biology at Purdue University in 1991, plant biotechnology and sustainability have been important foci of Dave’s career.  His postdoctoral work at Washington State University focused on cloning and characterization of genes that enable soybean plants to respond to environmental stress.  Many of these genes are responsive to methyl jasmonate, a growth regulator that wounded plants emit into the atmosphere, signaling their neighbors.  Dave continued this research in his early career as a professor at Fredonia State University in western New York, where he also headed up a Recombinant Gene Technology program.  An opportunity to develop a new biotechnology program brought him to Calvin College’s Biology Department in 1998.  Since then, Dave’s professional interests have diversified.  He and his students have used DNA fingerprinting to assess genetic diversity within populations of native plants (asters and bladdernuts) and to ascertain genetic relationships among hosta sports (new genotypes arising from tissue culture).  More recently his scholarship has focused on wider issues in society and in education.  He has proposed a place-based paradigm in agriculture that seeks to promote sustainability by integrating agroecology and biotechnology. With inspiration from SENCER and funding from the National Science Foundation’s TUES program, he is currently leading curricular reforms in his department, making use of learner-centered pedagogies to teach biological concepts and competencies through some of our society’s most pressing challenges: biodiversity and climate change; food, fuel, health, and sustainability; public health and personalized medicine.

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Activities (4)

Analysis of the Global Climate Change Controversy: A Problem-Based Learning Activity part of SISL:Activities
This is a problem-based learning activity that guides students through a process whereby the class as a whole investigates various stakeholder perspectives on the global climate change controversy. Individual students then reflect on their own perspectives in light of what they have learned.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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