Nicole Nelson

My name is Nicole Nelson and I am an instructor in the Department of Biology.

I am passionate about science education and working to improve scientific literacy here in our community and across the state and country. Over the past decade I have taught science and biology at the middle school, high school, and college level. I have also been part of a K-12 garden-based education grant, facilitated an outdoor/science education professional learning community, and have written science curriculum for public schools and an environmental organization.

As a college instructor, I believe strongly in creating an authentic learning environment for my students. In my classes students will be given the content knowledge and scientific inquiry skills to pursue their own research interests. I love seeing students become passionate about issues on campus that they can study scientifically and scaffolding them through the process.


Introduction to Environmental Science Lecture and Lab

In this course students are challenged to examine their own attitudes and behaviors towards the environment.  While many environmental issues are regional, national, and even global in their causes and impacts – I take a place-based approach to the environment by focusing on our local ecology, watershed, energy usage, and waste-stream.  By taking the time to truly understand the impact of your personal choices and behaviors, as well as USF’s and the City of Fort Wayne’s choices, you will be empowered to become an agent of positive change locally.  This will lead to a broader impact, as you become a leader in your community and career.

Principals of Biology Lab

Biology lab provides students with both the laboratory and critical thinking skills necessary for a strong foundation in the biological sciences.  Through the year students will be introduced to the scientific method, microscopy, histology, anatomy and physiology, natural selection and phylogeny, and statistical analysis.  Students will also conduct their own research product during the second semester of Principals of Biology Lab.


  • Master of Science (Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development) – University of Wisconsin, 2011
  • Bachelor of Science (Biology) – Indiana University, 2005


Nelson, N., Shaw, B. (2013). The use of natural schoolyards to develop stewardship attitudes in students. Journal of Extension. [On-line], 51(5) Article 5RIB8. Available at:

Nelson, N. (2013). Using school-yard restoration to engage students in water stewardship. Science Scope. March, 41-48

Contributing Author, Earth Partnership for Schools (2012), Water Stewardship Curriculum Guide. University of Wisconsin – Madison Arboretum

Curriculum Vitae