Robert C. Barkman, Ph.D.
Robert Barkman, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus Science and Education at Springfield College in Massachusetts.
Years ago, I was sitting on a hammock on a muggy, one-hundred-degree day aboard a slow-moving paddle boat chugging up the Amazon River, following in the footsteps of the famous evolutionary biologist, Henry Walter Bates. I was imagining along the way what rain forest patterns Bates might have observed that helped construct the theory of evolution by natural selection. The goal of my trip was to help found the first (and only) YMCA in the Amazon. Apart from my YMCA mission, the trip stirred my passion for understanding the larger role that pattern recognition plays in discovery. It has been my research and teaching passion ever since.
I held a dual appointment in Biology/Chemistry and Education at Springfield College where I taught and did research. My research interests included the ecology and culture of marine fish which I studied as a research scientist for the Federal Marine Laboratory, Narragansett, RI. I was part of a team effort that discovered a new technique to record the early growth and ecology of fish from a pattern of rings laid down in a boney structure of the skull.. The technique is now performed routinely in marine laboratories worldwide
I served as department chair and principal investigator of several multiyear grants to develop new ways of teaching science funded by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Education. I served as Project Director for Harvard’s Technical Education Research Center of a NSF project to enhance teacher understanding of science and the pedagogy to teach it. I was honored to receive a Governor's (MA) Spirit of Innovation award in Education and the Sears Roebuck Foundation Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership award for my work.
These posts are informed by my next book in progress, See the World Through Patterns.