Breakout Session Speaker - Online Event
Melanie Trecek-King is an Associate Professor of Biology at Massasoit Community College in Massachusetts. With over twenty years’ experience in college and high school classrooms, she especially enjoys teaching students who don’t want to be scientists when they “grow up.” Several years ago, Trecek-King recognized the need for a general-education science course that focused less on facts and more on science as a way of knowing, so she created a novel course that uses pseudoscience, bad science, and science denial to engage students and teach science literacy, information literacy and critical thinking. The course, Science for Life, is now being taught at other institutions and is part of a new research effort attempting to revolutionize science education. Her passion for science education led her to create www.ThinkingIsPower.com, an online resource that provides accessible and engaging critical thinking information to other educators and the general public.
In addition to her work in the classroom, Prof. Trecek-King is the Founder and Chair of Massasoit’s Sustainable Landscaping Committee, which uses environmentally responsible landscaping practices to conserve natural resources, reduce and prevent pollution, benefit wildlife, and enhance ecosystem functioning. Under her leadership, the committee has replaced lawn with native gardens, edible gardens, rain gardens, and a wildflower meadow, transforming the campus into a wildlife habitat and providing food to the campus community. The changed landscape is now part of a thriving student research program that has found sustainable land-use practices increase the diversity and abundance of native bees.
Trecek-King has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry and a Master of Arts in Ecology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where she studied prairie ecology, succession, the role of fire in ecosystems, and habitat restoration. In addition to her love of science, she is a mezzo-soprano and a certified Choral Groupie and has sung with some of the world’s greatest conductors and composers, including Simon Halsey, Alberto Grau, André Thomas, and Anthony Trecek-King.
This event is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council (msac.org)