- 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.
- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Other recipients of undergraduate teaching awards are Emily Albu, Classics; Seeta Chaganti, English; and Susan Keen, Evolution and Ecology.
They and other award winners will be honored at a ceremony hosted by the UC Davis Academic Senate/UC Davis Academic Federation on Tuesday night, May 13 in the Vanderhoef Studio Theatre of the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts. The 6:15 program will be preceded by a reception.
Carey, an internationally recognized scientist, was praised in the nomination package as “an incredible teacher who eagerly and passionately engages students through his highly successful, innovative and digitally progressive techniques…he is known as a trail blazer, a forward-thinker, and a digital-savvy strategist on the cutting edge of education.“
Carey motivates, encourages and inspires students to learn through creative, innovative ways, such as the student-produced, instructor-directed video productions, “One Minute Entomologist” and “How to Make an Insect Collection (the latter won an award from the Entomological Society of America). Student comments about his classes ranged from “best ever class at UC Davis” to “invaluable” to “unique opportunity.” Another wrote that he comes prepared to each lecture, "excited and passionate to teach.”
Said one student: “Without a doubt, Dr. Carey is the most amazing, creative, inspiring and technologically savvy professor on campus…Dr. Carey encourages classroom discussion, treating all questions with respect, dignity and wisdom; he often follows up with a humorous anecdote. His lectures, course organization, innovation, creativity and mentoring are extraordinary.”
Carey is the pioneering and driving force behind the UCTV Research Seminars and began video-recording seminars in his department several years ago and then encouraged video-recording on all the other nine UC campuses.
Carey originated and launched “One Minute Entomologist,” in which students research an insect or arthropod, outline it, and video-record it. So far, the students have produced more than 125 videos. He and Professors Lynn Kimsey and Edwin Lewis co-teach the course.
Another innovative class is “Terrorism and War,” an online course offered by Carey through the Science and Society program. It was selected one of 27 courses, UC systemwide, to receive grand support ($75,000) from UC Online.
Among his many other projects:
Write Like a Professor; The Research Term Paper, in which he partnered with Assistant Professor Sarah Perrault in the University Writing Program to produce a playlist of 13 videos.
Longevity, a 4-credit cross-listed course that Carey teaches based on his research program in the biology and demography of aging (biodemography). After offering the course to 14 students in 1999, he saw enrollment soar to an initial cap of 200 students and then, due to increasing demand, jump to 250 last year. The course, designed entirely by Carey, provides students with crucial information on aging and lifespan, so that they can become skilled human development and health professionals, informed voters, knowledgeable parents and grandparents, health-conscious citizens, and life-long students of writing. See kinship video.
Carey is active in the Campus Council for Information Technology, which provides advice and recommendations to key UC Davis administration on educational and information technology and its use at UC Davis in support of instruction, research, administration and public service.
Carey brings to the classroom his expertise in many scientific areas. He is considered the world's foremost authority on arthropod demography. He has published more than 200 scientific papers and three books on this or closely related topics, including the monograph Longevity (Princeton, 2003) and the “go-to” book on insect demography, Demography for Biologists with Special Emphasis on Insects (Oxford, 1993). His landmark paper on “slowing of mortality at older ages,” published in Science in 1992 and cited more than 350 times, keys in on his seminal discovery that mortality slows at advanced ages. The UC Davis College of Agriculture and Environmental Science cited this as one of “100 Ways in Which Our College Has Shaped the World.”
Carey recently received the 2014 C. W. Woodworth Award from the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America (PBESA) for his outstanding accomplishments in entomology spanning four decades. He is a fellow of the Entomological Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Gerontological Society of America, and the California Academy of Sciences. The professor chaired the systemwide UC Committee on Research Policy, served on the system-wide UC Academic Council, and is a former vice chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology. In addition, he serves as the associate editor of three journals: Genus, Aging Cell, and Demographic Research.