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Faculty Profile: Dr. Erica Nol

Instilling a sense of discovery about the natural world

Teaching a range of courses from a first-year Biology course, Foundations of Biodiversity, to a graduate-level statistics course, Research Design and Data Analysis, Dr. Erica Nol carefully customizes how she teaches based on the course and the level of the students. Building on decades of experience as a teacher, researcher, and mentor, Professor Nol equips students with the tools they need to develop as scientists and as effective communicators of environmental knowledge.

Prof. Nol is committed to ensuring a personal connection between the students and herself. In her first year course she likes to stop and take questions, and also uses interactive technology to ask questions, giving opportunities for students to talk to each other, and getting answers in the moment, thereby helping students to immediately gauge their own understandings of the material. Prof. Nol combines a driving passion for Biology with a wealth of research experience: “The first year course I like to try to get them excited about Biology because they are our future... I try to throw in a lot of my own research examples so that they know that I’m a teacher, but also a researcher.”

Prof. Nol’s ornithological research in the Arctic allows for understanding long term changes in bird populations and habitats, while her connected research on the settled landscape provides opportunities for examining the interfaces between where people live and where birds live, such as housing developments or various types of logging. That work, and the types of skills needed to engage in similar kinds of research, deeply informs her graduate level teaching and supervision. Prof. Nol loves interacting with, and mentoring graduate students, and is dedicated to helping them further develop the knowledge and skills they need for future academic and professional endeavours.

Passionate and insightful, she truly exemplifies the type of teaching and learning Trent is renowned for, and which the Centre for Teaching and Learning is proud to showcase. 

Hear more from Prof. Nol.

The Centre for Teaching and Learning offers a variety of events and opportunities to celebrate and further enhance outstanding teaching and learning at Trent University. Professor Nol is part of the Centre for Teaching and Learning series showcasing faculty, staff and students who inspire and enhance excellent teaching and learning. Watch for upcoming showcases featuring faculty, staff and students contributing to exceptional teaching and learning here at Trent.

Posted on February 6, 2018