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Fresno State College (Ornamental Hor.)
University of California at Davis (Master's)
University of California at Davis (PhD)
Aloha! I love teaching people of all ages virtually anything they might want to know about plants and their environment, double entendre intended. Plants AND people function best in the proper environment. Plants modify our physical and aesthetic environment, and are therefore a significant part of the landscaping around our homes. Plants are an integral part of the planetary ecosystem, and make life possible on earth.
Even so, plants have certain environmental requirements for healthy growth and development. So I also have learned quite a bit about meteorology, soil science, ecology and geology in my quest grow and know about plants. As the manager of a botanical garden in Hakalau for 8 years, I had the opportunity to guide hundreds of garden visitors through the plantings while answering their questions and giving them interesting information about the plants.
Prior to coming to Hawaii in 2004, I taught horticulture classes to undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin for 22 years. I also taught "College for Kids" courses about plants to bright 3rd through 6th grade students several summer sessions. And, at the other end of the student spectrum, I taught a number of plant science courses to adult learners in my community in 3 to 5 session evening or weekend classes.
In signing up with WyzAnt for tutoring, I was asked to pick subject areas, which I did for 9. Then I proceeded to take and pass all of the subject certification tests in an hour. And, just in case you might just want to learn more about plants apart from having to meet course requirements of an educational institution, I enjoy teaching people who just want to broaden their appreciation of plants. Aloha! I love teaching people of all ages virtually anything they might want to know about plants and their environment, double entendre intended. Plants AND people function best in the proper environment. Plants modify our physical and aesthetic environment, and are therefore a significant part of the landscaping around our homes. Plants are an
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As the holder of a PhD in Botany, I have learned and applied a wide range of knowledge in the sciences, mathematics, and English composition, as well as skills in reasoning. Until quite recently, I did not know what the ASVAB test was about, so I investigated it on the web and concluded that I would more than likely pass the test if I were to take it. Therefore, I took the WyzAnt test and passed that easily, thereby being approved to tutor for that. I not only know facts, I also enjoy explaining them.
One of my favorite activities when growing up was to go into the big irrigation ditch behind our home and catch fish, frogs, snakes, toads, and anything else alive that could find there when they cut off the water flow in early September at the end of the growing season. Not surprisingly, biology was my favorite subject in school (they didn't offer meteorology). Botany is a biological science that focuses on plants, so I have a lot of knowledge about basic biology at my disposal and which I enjoy sharing/explaining with others.
As an undergraduate student, I completed a major in ornamental horticulture (Fresno State College), which would be an applied aspect of botany. As a graduate student, I received a Master's Degree in Botany (UC Davis) by examination, and a Ph.D. via completing research and writing a thesis. From 1982 - 2004, I was a Professor of Horticulture at the U. of WI-River Falls. From 2004 - 2011, I was the managing director of the World Botanical Gardens in Hakalau, Hawaii.
I taught principles of home landscaping for 22 years, and have have landscaped our homes in Florida, Wisconsin, and now in Hawaii (3 acres). I enjoy growing plants as much as I like teaching others about them, and, if one is to be successful at growing plants (have a "green thumb"), then one should understand ecological principles. I unconsciously learned many ecological principles being a Y Camp counselor for 6 years during summers in California and hiking in the Sierras. My graduate school curriculum included a class on Plant Ecology, which confirmed what I had learned in the mountains.
Math was one of my favorite subjects in grade school and Jr. High, and I completed Algebra I and Geometry before Sr. High, where I completed Algebra II and Trigonometry. Back then there was no such thing as a calculator as we know them now, and so I became proficient at doing practical math problems in my head or long-hand on paper. However, higher math than Trig was much more of a challenge to me because it seemed too theoretical and detached from everyday practicality. Today I still do practical math problems the old-fashioned way, and find it easy to explain.
As a youngster growing up in my neighborhood, I earned the nickname of "Professor", because I could seemingly answer any questions the kids would ask me about science. I would read the encyclopedia about scientific topics for entertainment. Today that is somewhat akin to surfing the web to get information about things that we find interesting or want to learn more about. I use a hands-on approach to learning whenever I can, relating what I am dealing with to a physical object that embodies that principle whenever possible. I loved giving my own children object lessons on science, and they still remember those.
My mother was a stickler for using proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation, as her mother was born in England. The kids in the family next door would often use improper grammar, and I would catch myself wanting to correct them (sometimes I actually did) most of the time. Likewise, in raising my own children, I would find myself correcting improper grammar that they would pick up on at school. I still feel a twinge of mental anguish when I read or hear poor grammar.
I have a knack for remembering lots of different things, and science of any kind was my interest as I went through school. As a horticulture professor, I had to be familiar with a lot of science, because it helps me answer a basic question I have always had about the natural world..."Why?" or, "How does it work?" And I love explaining things to anyone who expresses an interest in the natural world.
As with grammar, my mother strongly promoted my using "big words" (as the neighborhood kids would say) as I grew up. I was also a voracious reader and added to my vocabulary in this route. In high school I took 3 years of Latin, which is a great help in understanding English and in interpreting scientific words. I also took a year of French in college, which furthers understanding the derivation of many English words. And, when you write a 150 page+ thesis, you need to know and use a lot of vocabulary and grammar correctly. A good vocabulary enables one to be concise and precise.
Writing came easy to me through school, and the apex of my school writing came when I wrote my PhD thesis of over 150 pages. When I turned my first draft in to my major professor, he returned it to me with very few suggestions for improvement. The hardest part of that whole process was getting it typed (without a word processor) perfectly. Today, writing skills seem to be diminishing in proportion to the increase in texting via electronic/digital media. However, if you want to communicate on a professional level, you do need to know how to write properly, which I do.
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