“What really matters is what you do with what you have” – H.G. Wells

Why I teach at Laney

During (and after) high school, I attended Palomar Community College in San Marcos, CA and Mira Costa Community College in Oceanside, CA. At both campuses, I had such wonderful instructors that I decided I wanted to teach community college after I finished my education. This way I too could help students transition between where they are now and where they would like to go. At Mira Costa, I focused on Biology and Music, working in the recording studio on campus. At Palomar, I had a wonderful US History teacher who encouraged me to apply to Mills College.


Not all Orcas walk on land!

At Mills College, I finished my BA in Biology with minors in Music and US History. While an undergraduate, I started working with marine mammals in the San Francisco Bay and continued to do so for over 20 years. I focused my work on how environmental factors can lead to physiological changes.

I went on to complete my Master’s degree in Biology at San Francisco State University in 2002 where I studied the effects of global climate change on parturition (timing of birth) rates in mammals. I focused my work on the local harbor seal population and the effects of El Nino events. I also assisted with research concerning the effects of construction and watercraft on our harbor seals population, radiotracking harbor seal movement and elephant seal behavior in San Simeon. I presented talks on anthropogenic disturbance on marine mammals as well as issues of ocean noise and communication between marine mammals at a number of National and International conferences. I also worked for East Bay Regional Parks while finishing graduate school. At Parks we focused our studies on grassland management and animal distribution.  Since I have retired from research to focus on teaching, though I do like to get in the field every once and a while.

I am currently a doctoral student at the California Institute for Integral Studies Ecology, Spirituality and Religion program. There I am studying philosophies of the Indus Valley as well as alternate views of science and ecology. My research work focuses on creating more welcoming spaces for all students and the role of community in stress management.

I have lived live here in Oakland for 20+ years and am very involved in community activities.  You may see me around Lake Merritt as I am involved with the Lake Merritt Institute, I sat on the Measure DD oversight committee and I sometimes run with East Bay Front Runners and Walkers. Along with completing my First Degree Reiki training, I am a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) and teach restorative yoga as well as teach Anatomy and Physiology in the Yoga Teaching Training at Square One Temescal. I also write gay centered romance novels in my free time under the pen name, A.C. Stratford. I enjoy living where I work and am glad I can contribute to my community in a positive way. I also enjoy talking about science fiction, so if you take my classes, brush up on your pop culture!

Where to find me on campus

I will be on sabbatical in 2022, but you can email the department @

On campus activities

I am pretty involved in activities on campus. Our department runs on consensus which keeps us all very busy, but we always have time for students. I also sit on a number of committees including committees that help LGBTQ+ folks feel more at home here at Laney – click here to learn more about the Lavender Project. Let me know if you are interested in getting involved with campus activities.

My teaching philosophy

Me at a Star Trek Convention

Live Long and Prosper


I am a firm believer that what you learn in college is not just material, but also how to learn, how to organize your time and how to keep track of paperwork. In my classes, I would like to help you figure out your own learning style and learn to utilize the appropriate tools to best fir your style. Along with class material, I try to help students prepare for future classes with note-taking, test-taking and study skills. My grading methods are clearly stated in the beginning of class, in my syllabus and my grading rubrics are given out before you turn anything in. All of these things are available on this site. You can also read about our Community Agreements on our department website, this spells out our department philosophy.

Who am I ?

I am very lucky to have been raised in a multicultural household, though it left me wondering where I fit to this society. The process of finding your place can be difficult and rewarding in the long run. If you’d like to chat with me about it, please do. Genetically, my genes come from all over – these are my results from 23andme. Take a look!