Dr. Hans T. Beck, Ph.D.

Hans Beck

Associate Professor of Biology
Office Location: Stephens Hall 116
Telephone Number: 630-844-3852
Email Address: hbeck@aurora.edu

Teaching Philosophy
I am a first-generation American and first in my family to go to college, where I studied biology and conservation. In my career as a field based-research biologist and ethnobotanist, I have traveled throughout Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas.  I can think of few experiences more rewarding than sharing the wonder of science through education.  My goal is to teach my subjects with passion and commitment, and I hope that my students will tell me they want to learn even more.  I focus on developing critical reading and thinking skills in my students.  From my global experiences, I promote understanding, tolerance, and respect for cultural diversity.  I enjoy learning and imparting the knowledge I have gained to my students.  By sharing my love for science and learning, I expect to support the success of all my students.

PhD, Biology and Plant Sciences - City University of New York Graduate School  
MPhil, Biology - City University of New York Graduate School
BA Environmental, Population, and Organismal Biology - University of Colorado, Boulder
BA Geography abd Environmental Conservation - University of Colorado, Boulder

Areas of Specialization
Biology (Cell and Organismal)
Botany (Plant Systematics, Economic Botany, Ethnobotany, Horticulture, Natural Products, Plant Physiology)
Ecology (Environmental Science, Conservation Biology, Landscape Ecology)
Science Education (Nature of Science, Biological Inquiry, Experimental Design, Biostatistics)

Courses Taught
Life Science Seminar
Biology of Cells
Biology of Organisms
Introduction to Botany
Systematic Botany
Plant Physiology
Conservation Biology
Independent Research in Biology
Nature of Science
Science and Society
Directed Study in Natural Sciences

Highlights of Publications, Honors and Professional Contributions
BooksBalick, M. J. & H. T. Beck.  1990.  Useful Palms of the World: A Synoptic Bibliography. Columbia University Press, New York. 724p.  

Received American Library Association Oberly Award for 1991: Judged best American science bibliography for 1990-91.  

Monographs (invited, peer-reviewed)Beck, H.T.  2005.  Paullinia (Sapindaceae).  Pp. 320-329.  In: Berry, P.E. et al. (Vol. Eds.). Flora of the Venezuelan Guayana, Volume 8.  Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis.

Beck, H.T.  2004.  Sapindaceae.  Pp. 339-341. In: Smith, N. et al. (eds.).  Flowering Plants of the Neotropics.  Princeton University Press, Princeton.  

Book Chapters (invited, peer-reviewed)Beck, H.T.  2005.  Caffeine, Alcohol, and Sweeteners.  Ch. 10, Pp. 173-190.  In: Prance, G.T. (ed.).  The Cultural History of Plants.  Routledge Press, London.

Scientific Research Journal Articles (peer-reviewed)Lötter, M.C. & Beck, H.T.  2004.  Inventory and classification of indigenous afromontane forests on the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve, Mpumalanga, South Africa.  BMC Ecology 4:9-18.  

Highlights of Campus Involvement
Work with student researchers and Science Club to grow plants in the greenhouse
Served as College of Arts & Sciences Representative on the University’s Graduate Affairs Committee
Work with AU Institute for Collaboration on Illinois Math and Science Partnerships
Work with the Aurora University Student Association's Activities Programming
Faculty sponsor for AU Science Book Club
Work with middle and high school science teachers on student research and science fair