Published: May 15, 2020

Dr. Laurel Hartley photoLaurel Hartley (Integrative Biology)

Associate Professor of Integrative Biology Laurel Hartley was recently given the honor of being designated a University of Colorado President’s Teaching Scholar. She joins a prestigious group of more than 50 active Scholars from all four campuses.

Dr. Hartley has a deep interest in improving instruction and inclusion in undergraduate STEM courses. She co-founded the STEM Learning Assistant Program at CU Denver and is a leader in the International Learning Assistant Alliance. She conducts research related to how Learning Assistants (LAs) impact STEM courses. She also conducts research to assess and improve how students understand biological concepts and apply scientific principles, especially concepts and principles related to ecology. She does work at both the undergraduate and grades K-12 levels. She is also has active research in urban ecology, related to monitoring urban wildlife and exploring how factors of urbanization influence wildlife biodiversity and zoonotic disease. As part of this work, she studies how undergraduate students can contribute to authentic ecological research through Course Based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs).

Finally, Dr. Hartley has studied the impact of introduced bubonic plague on both urban and rural black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) communities. Dr. Hartley completed a postdoctoral position at Michigan State University, a PhD in Ecology and MS in Biology at Colorado State University, and a BS at Southwestern University. She also briefly worked at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History as the content researcher for an exhibition entitled Dig It! Secrets of Soil. Dr. Hartley plans to continue studying learning, instruction and inclusion in undergraduate STEM.