I possess a strong commitment to student education, and a goal of mine is to stimulate students' critical thinking and problem solving abilities. I have a well-grounded research background, which informs my teaching of interdisciplinary topics with an expertise in environmental science and conservation biology in both North and Latin America. I take an experiential approach to teaching where students receive a solid foundation of knowledge but then apply this to real-life situations. Field projects and service learning are essential components of my classroom instruction. Students can better connect to concepts when they see first-hand techniques. Undeniably, that is how I discovered my passion for biology. Thus, my classes are geared to create an interaction between learning and application. To achieve this I use an inquiry-based approach to teaching with an assortment of active teaching strategies and create a favorable learning environment where students are motivated to learn.
The goal of my research program is to promote conservation of biodiversity by maintaining viable wildlife populations across the landscape. Specifically, my research addresses the influence of anthropogenic disturbances, like forest management, urbanization, and agriculture, on wildlife. It is my goal to open students' eyes to the evolving and interconnected world of science by using my research as an example of how to assimilate science and the role of conservation in today's world. Ultimately, it is my goal to provide an inclusive and enjoyable environment that fosters the learning process for students and allows us all to be lifelong learners.
Professional Highlights & Honors
WGBH’s “Morning Edition” profiled bird research by Associate Teaching Professor Marja Bakerman, “Tracking Massachusetts’ Disappearing Whip-Poor-Wills”. The research project, a collaboration between WPI and Mass Wildlife, features catching and putting GPS tags on the birds to collect data on their travels,” the report stated.
The Vineyard Gazette included WPI wildlife research in its article. “Marja Bakermans, a researcher at WPI who focuses on migratory songbirds, began a study last year where she outfitted whippoorwills with geolocator backpacks to track the exact spots where the birds winter,” the Gazette reported.