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Faculty Advisors

Robin Ikeda
Robin Ikeda

DL-110 (Inside of DL-108)


The photo on this page, of several Invertebrate Zoologists delighting in the discovery
of a pistol shrimp, was taken in the tide pools at Dana Point.


Professional Educational Degree
Field of Study

Graduation Date

Awarding Institution

M.S. Biology 1980 University of California, Riverside
B.A. Biology 1978 University of California, Riverside
A.S. Natural Sciences 1976 Chaffey College

Dissertation Thesis Topic
Temperature regulation in insects, Exercise physiology, thermal and water balance in xeric adapted frogs.

Chaffey College Since 1998

Courses Taught at Chaffey College
BIOL 1 General Biology
BIOL 55 Vertebrate Zoology
BIOL 62 Biology of Organisms
BIOL 63 Evolutionary Ecology
BIOL 424L Anatomy and Physiology Lab
Research / Interests
At the Associate level:
Skeleton preparation, Taxidermy, Circadian rhythms.

At the Baccalaureate level:
Circadian rhythms, Temperature regulation in insects, Plant ecology and distribution.

At the Masters level:
Temperature regulation in insects, Exercise physiology, Thermal and water balance in xeric-adapted frogs.

As a highschool teacher from 1981-1984:
Skeleton preparation, Taxidermy.

As a highschool teacher from 1984-1998:
Skeleton preparation, Taxidermy, Temperature regulation in insects, Historical geology, Astronomy.

As a college professor at Chaffey:

Maintaining active field research is important to me for a variety of reasons. Doing science is fun. There is nothing else that feeds my imagination, sustains my love of the discipline, and keeps my courses crackling with the excitement of discovery quite like the pursuit of a research problem. Most rewarding of all is the opportunity to involve lower division students in original research. The current projects I am working on include:

· Ongoing monitoring of the vegetation and fauna of the Chaffey College Nature Preserve (with students from Vertebrate Zoology and Population Biology).

· Ongoing monitoring of the vegetation and fauna of the North Etiwanda Habitat Preserve (with students from Population Biology), as they recover from the Grand Prix Fire, and relative to increased pressure from the burgeoning human population nearby.

My Teaching Philosophy

As the product of a community college, I am pointedly aware of the quality of education, and the unique range of opportunities, that community college students potentially have access to. My goal in teaching (and doing) Biology is to explore that potential.

The breadth and depth of scientific knowledge is already enormous, and increasing exponentially. It seems to me impossible, and irrelevant, to provide students the whole of the subject’s content, be it general biology, anatomy, cellular biology, or zoology. We simply cannot say the words fast enough to provide a comprehensive course by that standard. However, if students are taught to be active learners: how to find information, to discriminate between sources, to teach themselves, and to apply what they’ve learned, they are equipped with all of the tools required to deal with the growing body of knowledge they need to process, whether to do their jobs, interact with their doctors, decide which products to buy, or vote intelligently.

There are some critical areas of intellectual development that I try to foster in my students.

A. Cognitive Themes

· A clear understanding of the fundamental, epistemological differences between science and other ways of knowing, and the features distinguishing the sorts of questions the various strategies are capable of addressing.

· An appreciation of uncertainty and its liberating power in scientific discovery.

· The recognition of fallacies in an argument.

1. Logical. E.g., post hoc, ergo propter hoc (It happened after, so it was caused by), or the confusion of correlation with causation are common examples.

2. Scientific. E.g., the routine misrepresentation of science in environmental and creationist debates.

· Increasingly sophisticated thinking. Whether or not students savor the enterprise, I work hard to wean them of the notion that mere comprehension of material suffices as an endpoint in their educations. They are routinely asked to analyze and apply their knowledge, weave it synthetically with other content, and sometimes to make evaluative decisions.

· The ability to abandon a position of intellectual certainty for the provisory view necessary in science, and to move from confidence to avowed (if temporary) ignorance when the evidence demands it. (These are not philosophical abstractions, but life-saving skills for those entering health professions!)

B. Content. Insofar as the Course Outlines allow, I tend to view course content as merely grist for the cognitive mill; any substantial scientific content will do. Yet I can’t imagine a biology course through which the following themes don’t flow.

· The influence of scientific knowledge upon our immediate, everyday lives.

· The mechanisms by which evolution occurs, and how the diversity of life apparent in both past and extant forms is a product of those mechanisms.

· Whatever content I chose to include in a course, why we think we understand it that way, how we have come to know it, and why it is important enough to show up there are emphasized.

C. Affective. I think a lot about these variables because I recognize that a great deal of what I value in a classroom isn’t discussed above, and little of what is discussed above will happen if I don’t pay close attention to how my classroom feels.

· Feeling-Tone. If the lab is a friendly, inviting, engaging place to come to, then maybe more of the students will want to be there, look forward to our time together, and try harder than if it were otherwise.

· Student advocacy. If I behave in ways that students see is in their personal and educational best interests, and never in an adversarial way, then they will know that I am a trusted resource for them.

· Questioning. If questioning occurs regularly, is adjusted to student feedback, and my responses are honest (but positive and sensitive), then students will get brave, and become more active learners.

· Pygmalion and the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. High expectations are a compliment, an honor, and a vote of confidence that all students deserve. Genuine praise is the reward of sustained, productive effort. The rewards are substantial and lasting.
Professional Activities
North Etiwanda Preserve Advisory Board
Faculty Advisors
A group of instructors from a variety of disciplines, trained to provide specialized advising to students regarding specific majors, transfer, and careers. Academic Advising.

Tree, Shrubs and Grounds Committee

An eclectic group that advises the College on issues related to landscaping, grounds, and the care and development of outdoor instructional facilities.

Tree Committee History (PDF)



Rev. 1/20/16

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