Faculty Information: R. Wernli
Office: CAC 361
Master of Arts, Southwest Texas State University (Texas State), August 1967. Major Biology, Minor: Chemistry
Bachelor of Science, Southwest Texas State University (Texas State), May 1965. Major: Biology Minor: Chemistry
I want to make the science of biology interesting to the student so that he wants to increase his knowledge of the subject. I do this by planting “seeds’ that develop into interest. I am also expected to have a keen knowledge of the subject of biology and to impart this knowledge to my students and to show students how to find information on their own, without my help. I expect my students to be lifelong learners and to develop interest in other subjects and to see how the science of biology relates to these subjects. I want to encourage independent and critical thinking and I expect my students to accept responsibility as students and members of society.
Why I became a Biologist:
I became a biologist because as a young person I had a great interest in the subject thanks to my parents who encouraged me to explore the natural world around me. My parents took me on trips to Texas State Parks and other natural areas often. I also spent much time in my home town city park which had a river, small streams and several lakes, collecting creatures. I was encouraged to keep collections of live insects, amphibians, reptiles, fish and mammals. Even though we lived in the city, my father raised goats, chickens, pigeons, And other types of barnyard animal. We also had a large garden and raised most of the food that we ate. I even raised a pig. As a young man I spent summers at an uncle’s farm helping with the chores and exploring the river, springs and wildlife in the area. As I became more educated and discovered chemistry and physics, I was fascinated by how physical laws could be used to explain life processes, in fact I was amazed that someone could explain muscle contraction at the molecular level- this is now know as mechanistic biology. At age 17, I joined the U.S. Navy and became a hospital corpsman. In the navy I received extensive training in anatomy, physiology, and treatment of everyday illness. And emergency trauma care. I found this area of biology extremely interesting also. I am so thankful that I get paid to do what I like.
Recommendations for student success in my courses:
•Attend every class meeting •Listen and take notes •Ask questions •Read the assignments – especially the text book •Set up a specific study schedule that includes times and activities and stick to it. You should spend at least two hours studying outside of class for every hour spent in class. Use your time wisely when you are not in class •Find a quiet place to study and go to this place when you study •Form a study group with other biology students, help and support each other •Failure is not an option
What’s great about the Biology Department at San Antonio College:
The people that work in the Biology Department have the same interest that I have. I like being around them and I like the conversations.
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