In a photo taken before the pandemic, Steven Travers talks with his NDSU students in class.
Steven Travers has a passion for understanding the world around him, and he loves to share that passion with his students. Travers teaches courses in evolution, evolutionary ecology, structure and diversity of plants and fungi, and a senior seminar.
“I try to help students engage more with the natural world and also to see the value of critical thinking and the scientific method in understanding important issues that may seem purely political or controversial,” Travers said. “My hope is that the courses I teach provide students with a deeper understanding of how the planet got to be the way it is and see patterns that have long been studied by biologists.”
Travers’ approach to engaging students is to appeal to their sense of curiosity. By tying in experiences from students’ lives, they begin to better understand the other living things on the planet and their place among them.
“New ideas can extend from experiences and old ideas that students have already developed,” Travers said. “So, engaging their inner scientists at every step helps bolster their understanding.
Travers earned a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology and holds both a master’s and doctoral degree in ecology and evolution. He joined the NDSU faculty in 2007.