Timberline Teacher Selected for ISU Research Program

Cannon PhotoNicole Cannon, a ninth grade science teacher at Timberline School in the Waukee Community School District, has been selected to a prestigious Iowa State University summer research program.

Cannon was one of 25 teachers in Iowa to be selected for the Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) program. In partnership with the National Science Foundation, the RET program provides K-12 teachers with research experiences and ongoing relationships with career scientists. For six weeks, Cannon will work closely with a research team led by Dr. Larry Halverson in the ISU Department of Plant Pathology, Entomology, and Microbiology.

According to RET Program Coordinator Maureen Griffin, Cannon’s research “will consist of gaining experience in microbial biology and plant-microbe interactions. Our work is multi-disciplinary and highly collaborative, with topics ranging from molecular biology to ecological processes.” The long-term goal of the research is to reduce nitrogen fertilizer inputs without reducing crop yields.

During the program, which is fully funded by a grant and offers a stipend, Cannon will engage in cutting-edge research, attend weekly laboratory meetings, focus on professional development with her colleagues, participate in mentorships, and produce a lesson to translate her learning into the classroom.

“The coolest part is I can bring this real-world life research experience at ISU back to our students,” Cannon said. “I plan to soak in like a sponge all the science research and content, then bring it to Timberline and Prairieview eighth and ninth grade science teams.”

With a bachelor’s degree from ISU and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Drake University, Cannon says agricultural sciences, research, and teaching are her passions.

Cannon is the first from Waukee CSD to participate in the RET program. “I will represent Waukee and Timberline very proud!” Cannon said.