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Profile of Eric Anderson
Professor of Wildlife, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

2004 Regents Teaching Excellence Award Recipient

Background and Experience (Selected)

  • Joined the UW-Stevens Point faculty in 1990.
  • Ph.D. in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University .
  • Has taught 25 courses at UW-Stevens Point over the past 14 years, ranging from class sizes of 1 (independent studies) to 270, and from freshman to graduate levels.
  • Led international study abroad groups of up to 40 UW-Stevens Point students to Europe, Australia and Costa Rica.  Independently organized and led a semester-long study abroad program to New Zealand.
  • Has received over $135,000 in grants to support research and teaching.
  • Has developed several interactive CD-Roms for students and others, which serve as identification guides for birds, mammals and amphibians.
  • Leadership role in the integration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) into the Wildlife Curriculum.
  • Faculty Advisor for UW-Stevens Point's Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society, 1998-present.  Over 200 members and 26 ongoing projects make this the largest and most active wildlife student chapter in the U.S.
  • Over 20 presentations at professional wildlife conferences on results of research conducted with graduate and undergraduate students, six of which were invited presentations to speak at national meetings of the Land Trust Alliance and provide workshops for natural resource professionals.
  • Speaks frequently to civic groups, high schools, student organizations, and general public audiences on various research and natural history topics.

In Professor Anderson's own words:

  • "Early in my career, I think I confused positive student evaluations with good teaching.  They are clearly not the same.  The student who learns is the most meaninful evaluation of effective teaching.  The paths to that for me include soliciting constant feedback from colleagues and students, evaluating different techniques, receiving critical evaluation, and reflecting-always reflecting on what's happening at that intersection between myself, my students, and knowledge."
  • "Teaching effectively without continuing to learn is nearly impossible, not only within the field of wildlife ecology, but also within the world of teaching strategies.  Truth has a rather annoying habit of constantly shifting and realigning.  Students need to be given the tools to constantly adjust to that ever-changing knowledge base.  Likewise I, as an educator, need to constantly grow in my understanding and awareness of what we are discovering (or have discovered in the past) about the process of learning and teaching."
  • "Teaching is who I am, not what I do as a profession.  It engages every part of me-my intellect, my personality, my passions-in that delicate give and take of the learning process."

In the words of his students:

  • "Dr. Anderson's teaching style can be summed up with one word, 'enthusiastic.'  Teaching with such emotion, encouragement, and energy should flat out exhaust him, but it doesn't.  He repeats these 'high energy' lectures day after day.  He has a way of captivating his audience, and students feed off of his excitement and his obvious love of teaching and wildlife."
    • Jamie L. Nack, 1999 UW-Stevens Point graduate; currently Wildlife Outreach Specialist in the UW-Madison Department of Wildlife Ecology.
  •  "In class, [Dr. Anderson] jumps at the opportunity a 'teachable moment' presents, whether it is a coyote on the side of the road on the way to a guest lecture, or a question pertaining to the material presented. . . . His compassion keeps many students, including myself, striving for our goals and continuing our education.  He was and always will be an outstanding role model for his students and for many of his peers."
    • Louise Venne, UW-Stevens Point graduate and former President of UW-SP Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society; currently a graduate student in the Department of Environmental Toxicology at Texas Tech University.
  • "I soon realized that Eric's interest and dedication to teaching was uncharacteristic of many university professors.  I have worked with several dedicated researchers and renowned scientists during my tenure at PSU, but I have yet to encounter another professor who inspired students and genuinely cared about teaching the way that Eric did during my years at UW-SP."
    • Matthew Lovallo, UW-Stevens Point B.S. and M.S. graduate (1990 and 1993); Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University; Furbearer Bilogist, Pennsylvania Game Commission.

In the words of his colleagues:

  • "Eric is by far the most talented educator with whom I've ever worked in my 27 years of teaching.  In all my years as a student or a teacher, I have never witnessed any teacher who possessed the enthusiasm, dedication, energy and talent for motivating his students to want to learn.  His dedication to students, boundless energy in and out of the classroom, and enthusiastic approach to teaching is exceptional.  Students flock to Eric!"
    • James W. Hardin, Professor and Discipline Coordinator of Wildlife, UW-Stevens Point
  • "I cannot recall working with another colleague in 33 years of college teaching who brought so much to the classroom, day in, day out, as Eric.  He not only inspires his students, he elevates the performance of his colleagues.  When Eric steps in front of a class, no student nor professional observer could deny that at that moment-that class, that subject, that lecture-is the most important thing in the world to him.  I have never witnessed a more inspired or a more inspiring teacher."
    • Alan Haney, Professor of Forestry and former Dean of the College of Natural Resources, UW-Stevens Point

Return to Sept. 7, 2004 news release