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You are here: Home > > Lisa Zinn
Assistant Professor Sustainability and Environmental Education Department
Environmental Science Educator
Office: Merry Lea
Phone: (260) 799-5869
Education and professional experience
B.A. Houghton College, 1992
M. En. Miami University, 2002
Ed. D. Ball State University, 2012
My undergraduate degree was in Biology with a concentration in environmental studies. My master’s degree is in environmental studies with a concentration in Conservation Biology. I have also worked for 14 years in different areas of environmental education both here at Merry Lea and at Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies in Mancelona, Michigan. I recently completed a Ed.D. in Science degree from Ball State University with a major in Natural Resources and Environmental Management.
How I became an educator:
I have always had a passion for both the environment and for teaching. I have taught science at the high school level, but I love the freedom that post-secondary education gives me to take students outdoors and to do research.
The classes I teach:
Natural History of Northern Indiana - Master's in Environmental Education program
Landscape Limnology - Sustainability Semester in Residence
Ornithology - Undergraduate course in the Biological Sciences Department of Goshen College
I also teach a graduate class for high school teachers called Instrumentation and Curriculum for Environmental Science. This course provides instruction in the use of environmental monitoring equipment and demonstrates ways that teachers can incorporate fieldwork into their curriculum. This class is completely “hands-on,” as the students learn to use the equipment in the field and then develop a curriculum for their classroom.
In addition to these graduate classes, I also have the opportunity to teach in our K-12 programs on a regular basis. This is a great way to rekindle the excitement and enthusiasm that the natural world can bring to people both young and old.
I have a particular interest in how humans affect ecosystems. My main research focus has been birds. In my master’s thesis, “Avian response to lakeshore cottage development in northwest lower Michigan,” I looked at how lakeshore bird communities responded to the development of houses and cottages along the shorelines.
I am currently very involved in a nationwide research project called “Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship” which uses consistent effort mist netting and banding birds to study bird population trends.
I am also doing research on constructed wetlands that are used for wastewater treatment. I am interested in how well these wetlands are at removing pharmaceuticals and personal care products. My current research is examining how well constructed wetlands remove the chemical Triclosan. This is the active ingredient in antibacterial soap.
I have supervised students who explored bird community response to surrounding habitats, the response of Yellow Warblers and Common Yellowthroats to the presence of roads, and monitoring small rodent populations in prairie restoration areas.
Bird banding or research talks
General natural history hikes
Water quality testing demonstrations
Water quality and macroinvertibrates
Endangered species and wildlife protection
How to conduct basic ecological or environmental research studies
History of the environmental movement
Christian environmental ethics
Christianity and the Environment
Creativity, imagination, and the environment
Designer and editor for Let Them Praise: Developing an Environmental Education Program that Honors the Creator. Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies, 1998.
Weber, A., and L. Zinn, The Effects of Nearby Habitat on Avian Populations - abstract. 2005. Indiana Academy of Science Proceedings. 121st Annual Meeting.
On Earth as in Heaven. Cassette of recordings of original songs in celebration of the creation. Written and performed by Lisa Zinn.
“... I will say this: the rule of no realm is mine…great or small.
But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands,
those are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail of my task…if anything passes through this night that can still grow fair or bear fruit and flower again in days to come. For I also am a steward. Did you not know?”
Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College, P.O. Box 263 Wolf Lake, IN 46796 | Phone (260) 799-5869 • Fax (260) 799-5875