Dr. Brett McMillan
I started working at McDaniel College as a visiting assistant professor in the 2007-2008 school year and was hired as a permanent tenure-track assistant professor beginning with the 2008-2009 year. My dream job was to teach botany and ecology in a small liberal arts school, preferably near mountains, so I think I have come pretty close!
As mentioned above, my primary areas of expertise and teaching are botany and ecology. It’s always a shock to me that these are often some of the least popular subjects in undergraduate biology departments, botany especially. It just may be my life’s work to get a generation of students to appreciate plants and the environment.
Ancillary skills you will see me incorporate into my classes include:
- data handling and statistical analysis
- writing in the sciences
- interpreting and evaluating primary literature
- using current technologies for learning and presenting information (for example, blogs, wikis, etc.)
I also strive to be as close to paperless in my courses as possible (I am the ecologist after all), so expect to use the www a lot in my courses!
I am developing ongoing research projects centered around plant assemblage and community ecology at Carroll County’s Hashawha Environmental Center as well as other county properties.
My personal research will mainly include plant diversity inventories of local natural areas. Research projects conducted by my students have focused on the interaction between soil & nutrient cycling, plant diversity & competition, invasive species, and soil invertebrates.
I consider myself an educator first and a researcher second. As such, I plan to work with students on my research. My availability to mentor students will vary from semester to semester, but I encourage any interested student to come talk with me about research opportunities.