- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Carey, a 35-year member of the UC Davis faculty, is the recipient of the 2015 Distinguished Achievement in Teaching Award from the worldwide Entomological Society of America (ESA), announced Richard Levine, ESA's communications program manager.
The award, presented annually to one of the 7000 members of ESA, singles out “what is deemed to be the most outstanding teacher of the year,” Levine said. Carey is the second UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology to receive the honor. Diane Ullman was awarded the prize in 2014.
Carey will receive the honor at the ESA's Nov. 15-18 meeting in Minneapolis, Minn.
He earlier received the 2014 Distinguished Teaching Award from the Pacific Branch of ESA, which covers 11 Western states, U.S. territories and parts of Canada and Mexico; and the UC Davis Academic Senate's 2014 Distinguished Teaching Award, an honor given to internationally recognized professors who excel at teaching.
Over the last five years Carey has developed a technological-savvy teaching program, a groundbreaking model for 21st Century instruction using short, concise videos. He teaches faculty, staff and students how to create the succinct videos, and how to record seminars. All are geared toward ease of learning and increased knowledge retention.
Carey himself has created 125 mini-videos. One of the most viewed is a 12-minute video covering 15 digital ideas and teaching that has drawn national and global attention. For the past several years, Carey has taught video instruction methods throughout the country and for the 9-university Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa. (See his videos on his faculty page at http://entomology.ucdavis.edu/Faculty/James_R_Carey/)
His students continually thank him for motivating, encouraging and inspiring them, praising him as “best teacher” and “invaluable.” A Japanese exchange student lauded him for “his creativity of coursework, unmeasurably broad knowledge and enthusiasm for mentoring.”
His teaching philosophy? “Just as changing weather patterns cannot be understood without a deeper understanding of the drivers of climate change, students need to know the big picture to understand the pixels,” Carey said. “Students learn the need to zoom in and zoom out so that they can consider the details in the context of larger conceptual and operational frameworks.”
Carey teaches two main courses at UC Davis, including an upper-division course titled “Longevity” and a lower-division general education online course titled “Terrorism and War.” In keeping with advancing technology, Carey uses Skype each week to bring in new scientists; uses micro voice, a language miniaturization essay concept, a syllabus familiarization quiz; and paperless exams.
Carey's deep interest in the use of digital technology in academia started when he chaired the UC Academic Senate University Committee on Research Policy. He described a framework or “road map” for using video capture of seminars to increase research synergy across the 10 UC campuses. The University of California TV station, UCTV, then used this publication as a roadmap for creating the video platform, UCTV Seminars. To date, the website has tallied some 10 million seminar downloads.
One reason for the popularity of this new platform, Carey said, “is a low-tech, low-cost, and easy-to-use video recording equipment that anyone can use.” Seminars should be “public,” he said, and the tax-paying public ought to be able to view the seminars for free.
Carey is internationally known for his research in insect demography, mortality dynamics, and insect invasion biology and is considered the preeminent global authority on arthropod demography. Carey was selected a plenary speaker for the 2016 International Congress of Entomology in Orlando, Fla., where he will present “Insect Demography: A 21st Century Tour.”
He holds a bachelor of science degree in fisheries and wildlife biology and a master's degree in entomology from Iowa State University. He received his doctorate in entomology from UC Berkeley in 1980 and then joined the UC Davis entomology faculty that year.
Carey is a Fellow of ESA as well as of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Gerontological Society of America, and the California Academy of Science. He has authored 250 scientific publications and three books, including the highly cited Demography for Biologists with Special Emphasis on Insects (Oxford, 1993).
Among his major accomplishments in video technology:
Write Like a Professor: The Research Term Paper. To meet the considerable challenge of teaching writing to classes of 250 students, Carey created a playlist of 13 videos.
One Minute Entomology. Carey innovated the concept of the “one minute expert” by launching student-produced videos that are 60 seconds in length. To date, students taught by Carey and two colleagues have produced more than 125 videos. In this ongoing project, students learn entomology, insect identification, succinct writing and speaking, best practices for slide presentation, peer review and teamwork.
How to Make an Insect Collection. Carey taught undergraduate and graduate students how to gather information and produce short videos for “How to Make an Insect Collection.” The award-winning project, considered by ESA as the best of its kind on the internet, includes a playlist of 11 short videos showing different aspects of insect collecting--from use of nets and hand collecting to pinning mounting and labeling.