Dr. Linda Sigismondi
Professor of Biology &
How long have you been teaching at Rio?
I started in Fall 1991, so 20 years
Over the years how many different courses have you taught? (estimate if you can’t remember exactly ) About 25, including environmental science courses, botany, fundamentals of biology, various zoology courses, anatomy and physiology as well as several courses for education majors.
What is your favorite course to teach at Rio…and why?
This is hard to choose. I do enjoy the environmental science course and exposing non-majors to issues they haven’t thought about in the past. For majors, I enjoy the genetics, though it is challenging at times to get the concepts across.
In your discipline (i.e., Environmental Science/Biology), what individual (or two or three) would you most like to spend a day with so you could pick their brain? (you can choose someone no longer walking the planet…)
After some thought, the first individual that came to mind was Rosalind Franklin, a pioneer in the research on DNA structure who struggled with gender issues of women in science. I would also have liked to met Charles Darwin because of his impact on biology and I find his life story fascinating.
What is your favorite food?
What is your favorite all-time movie (or two)?
I am not a big movie fan. Two that I have watched many times are Fried Green Tomatoes and Chocolat.
What is your favorite hobby/past-time activity?
I have several that I enjoy – bicycling, playing the dulcimer (mostly folk music) and theater.
If you were not a “biologist”, what would you like to do as a profession—disregarding whether it paid more or less than what you are making now?
I am not thinking of anything else for here, I already do my other interests in my hobbies.
Describe the one aspect of teaching you like the least. (Preparing exams and/or quizzes? Grading? Preparing a syllabus? Developing a new course? Lectures? Labs? Other?)
I will go with grading since I do like developing new courses, lectures and labs. (The aspect I really like least is dealing with administrators!)
How many years did it take you to earn your B.S. degree?
What century did your earn your B.S. degree in?
What set of circumstances resulted in your becoming a biologist?
I had a high school biology teacher that made the subject interesting and fun. I also always enjoyed being outdoors and activities such as hiking and camping throughout life.
If you could choose to live anywhere else on this planet (i.e., not counting Rio Grande), where would it be and why?
I would chose somewhere in Europe, possibly Switzerland or Austria. I have traveled to these as well as to more northern countries which I found too cold. I like the ability to travel places without driving (i.e., trains) and the less lawsuit oriented culture. I find practices in these countries more environmentally sustainable.
Identify one “thing” from “the good old days.”
I am having trouble coming up with a “thing”. I miss the days before cell phones where people didn’t need to be constantly in touch (though I do find many of the cell phone apps quite useful).
What is your favorite quote?
“Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. What he does to the web, he does to himself.”