Clarissa Dirks

Clarissa Dirks is an Associate Professor of Biology at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. She earned her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Washington, conducting research in virology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She currently investigates the evolution of viruses and host viral-inhibitory proteins, as well as the distribution and biodiversity of Tardigrada species. As a Biology Education Researcher, she has implemented programs to improve retention of underrepresented students in first year science courses, conducted studies to better understand how students acquire and master science process and reasoning skills, and is developing assessment instruments to measure undergraduates' science process skill acquisitions. She has received two Tom Rye Harvill Awards for the Integration of Art and Science, has been named a National Academies Education Fellow and Mentor in the Life Sciences, and is the recipient of two Biology Leadership Education grants. She works to provide professional development opportunities for faculty and post-doctoral scholars by serving on the National Academies Summer Institute for Undergraduate Science Education Committee, leading a Pacific Northwest Regional Summer Institute, and mentoring post-doctoral fellows as a regional field station leader for the Faculty Institute for Reforming Science Teaching. As a member of the National Research Council's Board on Life Sciences committee on Developing a Framework for an International Faculty Development Project on Education about Research in the Life Sciences with Dual Use Potential, she trains faculty in best practices for teaching responsible conduct of research in their countries. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the journal CBE-Life Science Education and a co-founder of the Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research (SABER).

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