Teacher Feature with Dr. Tanya Hoerer

Dr. Tanya Hoerer has been a Biology instructor for 20 years. In celebration of Earth Day, we spoke with Dr. Hoerer about her love for science, Earth Day, and inspiring the next generation of scientists! 

Group of young activists with banners and signs. Text that reads: Invest in Our Planet. Earth Day 2022. Invest in Our Planet - It's the only home we have. We need everyone, while there is still time.

You have probably heard about Earth Day and might have found yourself wondering what it's all about it. Earth Day was started in 1970 and is the celebration of the modern environmental movement. Since 1970, every year on April 22nd the entire planet celebrates Earth Day. The purpose of Earth Day is to keep the earth green and strive for a cleaner planet! Greenhouse gasses, car emissions, and waste are all contributing to global warming. Earth Day connects people all over the world in an effort to fight against the damage being inflicted upon our planet. According to National Geographic, more than a billion people each year celebrate Earth Day. At Coastline College we want to celebrate, and take part in Earth Day, each and every year.

If you are interested in science, biology, and Earth Day, check out the following conversation that took place with Dr. Tanya Hoerer, Coastline Biological Sciences & Allied Health instructor!

Study the Earth with Coastline Biological Sciences

How long have you been teaching Biology and Marine Science

I have been teaching Marine Science for 6 years and Biology for about 20 years.

What do you love about teaching at Coastline College

I love the broad range of biology courses I am able to teach and develop and the student research and internship opportunities I have been able to coordinate for students. I also love our location and brand-new facilities at the Newport Beach Campus.

Two females working on the beach by a pool of water collecting and analysing samples. They are wearing protective gloves and reflective clothing.Source: Getty

What can you tell students about your courses? 

I teach courses for both majors and nonmajors, including pre-requisite courses for those pursuing careers in medicine and physical therapy. Our majors and pre-requisite courses prepare students for graduate or specialized training, depending on their field of interest. They include research opportunities and connections with industry partners that will also help them build their resumes and applications with work and research experience. This includes Cell and Molecular Biology, Biodiversity of Organisms, and Human Anatomy. The nonmajor's courses are designed to be interesting and relatable to students that may not feel science is their strongest area, but who are required to complete some life science education. This is the category into which Marine Science falls. Introduction to Biology and Human Ecology courses are appropriate for both groups of students. All of the courses I teach use real-life research experiences and relatable examples to illustrate concepts of biology.

Coastline's Biology Associate of Science for Transfer degree

How did you get interested in science, biology, and marine science? 

I have always been drawn to the natural world, especially plants, animals, and fungi. I have always enjoyed reading about zoology and botany, and medicine, and looked for applications of these fields in the outdoors. When I started learning about the problems facing the stability of the natural world, I become more interested in ecology as a means to address the environmental concerns we have today.

What are some of your favorite hobbies? 

I am usually outdoors, especially on the beach or the ocean. I also ride horses, motorcycles, and dirt bikes and love camping.

How can people and students get more involved with helping the planet against global warming? 

Education is key to becoming more involved with solutions to climate change. There are many local opportunities to become involved with Citizen Science projects at Newport Beach's Back Bay Science Center and Bolsa Chica's Amigos de Bolsa Chica that include wildlife population monitoring and beach clean ups. It's also very important to consider what you consume, how it is manufactured (including food!) and what waste it produces to consume those items. This way you can make choices as a consumer to avoid purchasing things that have a big carbon footprint and/or generate a lot of trash.

Make a Difference at Coastline

What can tell students about making a career in the field of science

Our country, our world, needs you more than ever! It is a lot of work to pursue a degree in science, but there are many opportunities here at Coastline that will get you off to a good start, and also make learning science fun! The amount of work you will have to put in will be well worth it as careers in science are among the highest paying and most secure, and if you love science, the most rewarding.+

Earth Day is held every year on April 22nd, do you feel that Earth Day has gained more attention over the years?  

I think it is more widely understood and recognized and there are many more opportunities to participate in important efforts to protect biodiversity and slow climate change than there used to be.

Group of eco volunteers holding bags with plastic after sorting waste - Friends cleaning the beach and collecting plastic to save marine lifeSource: Shutterstock

At Coastline College, we are lucky and fortunate to have professors like Dr. Hoerer teaching the next generation of scientists. Hopefully, students and prospective students who are interested in science found this conversation with Dr. Hoerer very meaningful. If you are interested in biology, marine biology, or just science in general, then check out what Coastline has to offer.

Based on the conversation I had with Dr. Hoerer, the world is in need of future scientists. Every day the world’s climate is changing and this affects everything on planet earth. A new generation of scientists to take part in shaping our earth for the future is vital. According to the New York Times, the ocean's coral reefs are being destroyed and sea levels are rising. Now is the time for students and everyone on Earth to get involved. As we know, today is Earth Day, which is the celebration of our beautiful planet and our attempts to keep it green! At Coastline College we want students who are interested in science to pursue their dreams of keeping Earth green. A big shout out to Dr. Tanya Hoerer for her time and as always, happy Earth Day! 

Stay up-to-date with our next teacher feature by following Coastline social media!

Read On