Melissa N.

Hays, KS


The Mad Scientist

In-person lessons


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Fort Hays State U.


Fort Hays State U.

About Melissa

I have worked as a field biologist and a chemist, with a side obsession of art and literature. I have loved both fields of sciences and want to pass that passion to others. I have done everything from being on crab boats in Alaska (including the Northwestern - made famous by the Discovery Channel) to bird surveys for wind farms. I want to show students that science is relevant in their lives and a potential career path. I plan to tutor each student individually, using methods that works best for them. Bottom line- I want them to fully comprehend what they are learning, not just pass a test. I am also earning my teaching block for future licensure. I hope the student and I can learn and benefit each other. I am also available through Skype for those are interested at a long distance. I have worked as a field biologist and a chemist, with a side obsession of art and literature. I have loved both fields of sciences and want to pass that passion to others. I have done everything from being on crab boats in Alaska (including the Northwestern - made famous by the Discovery Channel) to bird surveys for wind farms. I want to show Read more

12 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 30 miles of Hays, KS 67601
In-person lessons
Elementary (K-6th), Geometry, Prealgebra, Precalculus, Trigonometry
Biochemistry, Biology,
Chemistry, Ecology,
Elementary Science,
Physics, Zoology
Reading, Vocabulary
Special Needs:
Elementary (K-6th), Elementary Science,
Reading, Study Skills
Elementary Education:
Elementary (K-6th), Elementary Science,
Reading, Study Skills,

Approved subjects are in bold.

Approved subjects

In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.


I have taken extensive biology courses that included learning anatomy for many different forms of animal (arthropods to birds and reptiles)and human anatomy as well. Not only do I know my main anatomy systems, but I also can explain how they work and differ from humans and different animal classes. As I have been setting up to become a tutor I am relearning this knowledge and it is fresh in my mind. I am capable of tutoring from high school to college level.


I currently have a BS in Biology that emphasized in field zoology. I took many extra courses to make my knowledge widespread and not so focused. I believe this to be a benefit to be able to tutor many different aspects of biology. I was able to work as a field biologist for many years and feel that I can not only help a student excel in this subject, but also pass on the desire to learn this difficult subject.


I have taken college courses involving aquatic botany, taxonomy of flowering plants, agrostology, and other courses that involved in depth knowledge of plant identification for different ecological regions, dendrology, and range management. Previous employment involved me utilizing this knowledge and conducting surveys: including wetland deliniations, range habitat assessment and invasive species surveys involving pipelines that streched across the country. I know botany from a microscopic scale to the redwoods. I also know how to properly collect, preserve and label specimens to museum-grade quality.


I love to draw. Pencil is what I excel at, but I am fairly proficient at colored pencils, charcoal, and ink. I have even had my work published and contracted, ranging from scientifically accurate drawing to the surreal. I believe I can help student learn techniques such as shading, contrast, and which number of pencil to use to achieve the correct hardness. I can teach how to use lines to focus or distort perception and techniques to show texture. There is nothing better than being able to see your imagination come alive on a piece of paper.


I have taken various ecology courses at the college level and feel that I can help students understand this complex subject. I have also had employment that utilized this knowledge and have put it into practice. I can tutor up to the college level if needed.

Elementary Science

I have loved science all my life. From first grade to today. I not only want to tutor a child to understand science, but to help them love the subject rather than fear it. I have taken my fascination for science all the way to a BS degree in biology and am currently gaining a teacher's degree to pass it on. I feel I can tutor all aspects of science which is needed at this level so they can feel comfortable enough with the subject to pursue it as the grow older. Let me help your child learn the wonder of how a cell functions or how electricity works.


Geology is a fascinating subject describing what time and pressure can do to the elements of the earth. I have always had a side interest in geology and loved it in high school and as a few electives in college. I believe I can guide a student to learning about this subject, including the difference between a mineral and element, the different levels of the earth, what exactly plate tectonics are and what they imply. I hope that my energy in this subject can be transferred to my student and they too find geology a wonder and possibly a career path.


I will not say I was the best student in the class at this subject when I was in school, but as I have entered into working world and applied this knowledge to writing reports, sending professional correspondence, and trying to enter the world of professional writing, I can hear every teacher I asked "Why is this important?" laughing. I have had to reeducate myself on proper grammar to meet the standards of my employers and have taken on a new appreciation for the subject. I believe I can tutor grammar because I have had to tutor the subject to myself recently.


Although I have no real formal education in literature except a few college electives, I have always loved to read. I range from Alexander Dumas's Count of Monte Cristo to the old R.L. Stine horrors. A personal favorite as always been Edgar Allen Poe's poetry. I have even tried to submit a few children's book myself. I feel very comfortable that I can tutor in literature and all its' aspects, such as different writing styles and symbolism. Books stay with me so chances are good that I am familiar to the book you need help on.


Painting is very hard to teach. I believe it is all about helping the student find his/her own technique, while covering the basics such as the color wheel. Introducing a student to other techniques created by the greats is essential so the student can build upon it, find a niche that they like, and hopefully achieve something wondrous and uniquely theirs. I would teach them focal points, perception, still life versus movement, the way an eye tends to wonder, different mediums available to them, and differences in brushwork and knife painting. The list of things that could be taught is unlimited, but helping the student find a style of their own is the goal.


Being a scientist, I have been faced with many out-of-this-world scientific names that actually needed to be discussed out loud. Phonics is essential to accomplish this. The ability to sound out words and know the tricks that sometimes occur in our language is vital in order to read comprehensively and function in society. With many language barriers in the world, sometimes knowing the sound of "st" or the letter combination "cr" can help a student excel by integrating audio words with the words on the page, creating a double edge sword. I remember learning phonics in my early years, and I still continue to use it everyday.

Study Skills

Having attended college and being in various jobs where learning never stops, I am quite up on my study skills myself. Over the course of the years I have learned what does work for me and what does not. Example would be repetitive writing verses oral explanation or concrete examples to demonstrate one's own knowledge verse just reading the book. I understand what worked for me will not work for all of my students, but my range of studying efforts can be passed on to help students find the right combination for them. Studying is not simply doing the assigned homework, but making sure you are truly comprehending the subject matter in the most time efficient way.


I have always tried to improve on my vocabulary since the need to convey oneself is essential. Whether it is describing an emotion or a concept, the proper vocabulary is vital. A learned vocabulary can set a student into a different level of communication and comprehension, very important for a student to progress in life. Acquiring an extensive vocabulary can be very challenging, especially if the student is a second language learner.


I currently have a BS in biology with an emphasis in field zoology. Specific zoology classes included entomology, ichthyology, mammology, and ornithology. I have extensive experience involving all aspects of zoology. Examples would include being a fisheries observer in the Bering Sea, stream fisheries crew, pre-construction wildlife assessments for wind farms, Kansas wide mammal survey, other mammal ans reptile population surveys in various states, and bird banding over the course of 15 years. I understand the various classes of anamalia and how the interact with each other in their respective ecosystems.

Fort Hays State U.


Fort Hays State U.

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $45.00

Cancellation: 12 hours notice required

Travel policy

Melissa will travel within 30 miles of Hays, KS 67601.