Plant Biogeography & Systematics, Science Education
Phone: (707) 826-5551
Office: Science A 355B
Personal Website: N/A
BA (1984) University of California, Santa Cruz
California Teaching Credentials (1988) Life Science, Mathematics, and Multiple Subjects. CSU Los Angeles
PhD (1999) Michigan State University
The Biology of Rarity
Nature and Practice of Science
Introduction to Lesson Study
Teaching Secondary Math and Science
Summary of research
My research interests are in the areas of plant biogeography and systematics. My current work focuses on the ecological and
evolutionary dynamics of rare plants in the genus Astragalus (Fabacaeae). This work includes testing new methods for
quantifying range-sizes at multiple scales, and comparative statistical approaches aimed at elucidating phylogenetic patterns
of rarity in the group. I also conduct rare plant monitoring and population level studies aimed at detecting relevant spatial
scales of ecological processes affecting populations.
I am also a Director of the Redwood Science Project, and the Science Programs Director of the Northcoast Mathematics and
Science Initiative. These projects seeks to enhance the delivery of high-quality K-12 science and math instruction in seven
counties of northwest California. My work includes both program development and evaluation, and research on science teaching.
Current research focuses on three areas: 1) factors influencing science and math majors choices to join the teaching profession, 2)
the professional development of science teachers via the Japanese Lesson Study model, and 3) assessment of new curricula on the
success and retention of environmental resource engineering students.
Espinoza, D.M., J. W. White, E. A. Eschenbach, and E. M. Cashman. 2004. Student Attitudes Surveyed in an
Introductory Environmental Resources Engineering Course. Proceedings for Frontiers In Education 2004 Conference.
White, J.W. 2004. Range size, error rates, and the geometry of rare species distributions. Proceedings of the
2002 Rare Plant Symposium: The Ecology and Management of Rare Plants of Northwestern California. California Native Plant
Society, Sacramento, CA.
Cashman, E., Eschenbach, B., Espinoza, D. and White, J.W. 2003. Designing A New Learning Environment In Introductory
Engineering Courses At Humboldt State University. Proceedings for Frontiers In Education 2003 Conference.
White, J.W. 2003. Seminar. Studies of Rarity: A few problems and Solutions.
Departamento de Ecología, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile.
White, J.W., D. Skiles, K. Ponsano, W. Branca, and C. Lu.. 2002. Workshop. The Construction of a Private Universe: Children's
Ideas in Science. California Science Teachers Association Conference, San Francisco.
White, J.W. 1999. Poster. Phylogenetic Patterns of Rarity in the Argophyllean Clade of Astragalus L. (Fabaceae). XVI International
Botanical Congress. St. Louis, MO.
White, J.W. 1999. Ph.D. Rarity and the Phylogeography of the Large-flowered Piptoloboid Clade of Astragalus (Fabaceae).
Dissertation, Michigan State University.
White, J.W. and C. Preston. 1997. Ecological Systems. In Ecology, Law, and Economics, 2nd edition. N. Mercuro editor.
University Press. New York.
- Past Grad Students:
- Michael Kauffmann
- Carrie Schreiber
comparative biology of restricted and widespread plant taxa
the role of facilitation in plant interactions in stressful environments
science education programs at Sequoia Park Zoo.
Julie Van Sickle
science and literacy