Mary Jo Hartman leads students in biology field work

inWords Archive


From theory to practice. Alexander, Olga and Alex Anderson '14 apply their engineering studies to the real world by bringing clean water to Papua New Guinea.

Twins Kathleen and Jacqueline Byron ’92, engineer great lives…together.

Alumna Marisha Kasjan rings in 2015 with pizza and the power of a kindness.

Where students and faculty collaborate: Alumna Kim Menius teams up with Professor Robert Hauhart to take her revised senior thesis to publication.

For Tanzania's Doctor Sister Redemista Ngonyani, O.S.B. '04 education is key to being the change she wants to see in the world.

Christine Schaller '93, aiming high because of Saint Martin’s University.

Rae Simpson BSN '95, MSN '98, using her Saint Martin's education to see the bigger picture.

Joe Skillman '13, masters the art of balancing family, school, work and faith.

Looking for the perfect Christmas tree? Ask Jonathan Sprouffske '04 and his family who keep the holiday tradition alive and well.

Current students

Missed opportunities with her great aunt light the fire of English as a Learned Language (ELL) for Benedictine Scholar Hope Chamberlain '17.

Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy honors MAC candidate Liz Robinson '15 with $500 scholarship.

Presenting in paradise! For psychology major Timothy Templin, Honolulu made the presentation process a calmer experience.


Jeff Birkenstein, being influenced by Russian writers in Petrozavodsk.

Julia Chavez, helping students see themselves through the universal elements of Homer's The Iliad.

From Vietnam to Lacey, Assistant Professor Tam Dinh, journeys to the American Dream… caring, generous citizens investing in all of our future.

Mary Jo Hartman, broadening SMU's biology horizons through "Sound Learning Communities."

How do you help your students succeed in their senior capstone projects? First, read Professor Robert Hauhart's Designing and Teaching Undergraduate Capstone Courses.

Louise Kaplan inspires the next generation of nursing professionals.

Professor Terry McAdam explores the challenges when forensic science meets the law, in a new textbook for criminal justice studies.

Why present your scholarly work? Jeremy Newton offers insight into presentation benefits.

New York City. Summer 2014. Healing and social justice through improvisation. A Playback Theatre workshop with Leticia Nieto.


Japanese 101 and 201 students learn about Japanese culture via green tea and a thousand year old ritual.

Six lives are changed by service immersion in Tanzania.

What do you get when you cross a pig naming contest with a pig hunt? Why student philanthropy, of course!

Pack your bags! It's time to head north, south, east or west with Saint Martin's study abroad programs.

Two transfer students representing the Benedictine values and the Saint Martin's spirit are awarded $26,000 each.

Want to become a better teacher? Try traveling to Inner Mongolia.

Like what? Post where? Retweet who? The Saint Martin's Social Squad social(media)-izes SMU!

#SaintsAlive! Let's get sustainable! Going to Bellingham and going green.

How do you make the seemingly unfloatable float? Why build a concrete canoe of course!

Transformation is the name of the game for the 2013 women's fastpitch softball team.

Celebrity chef Michael Symon helps SMU raise $960,000 for student scholarships.

Team Anderson: Olga, Alex and Alexander engineer for the future.

SMU 'takes the LEED' with the highest certification in the Western Hemisphere.

2013 fall convocation Taking the road less traveled.

Professor Mary Jo Hartman participates in "Sound Learning Communities" to learn more about the Puget Sound

Exciting educational opportunities are as close as your own back yard. Ask Associate Professor of biology Mary Jo Hartman, Ph.D., who explored the Nisqually River Watershed and South Puget Sound during a summer field course.

Hartman was one of four Saint Martin’s faculty who took part in "Sound Learning Communities," a week-long course through The Evergreen State College. Also attending were Associate Prof. of mathematics Joe Mailhot; Associate Prof. of English Jamie Olson, Ph.D.; and Learning Garden Coordinator Lynn Villella. They were joined by faculty members from Evergreen, South Puget Sound Community College and Centralia College.

The course objective? To learn more about area resources that faculty members could use in their classrooms and labs to give their students a better understanding of risks facing the Puget Sound ecosystem. The group also learned about efforts — large-scale and individual — to lessen those risks, Hartman said.

The great side benefit, she added, was networking with faculty from nearby institutions.

"We really don't have a lot of interaction with faculty at those schools," she said. "Since we’re all so small, (the program) had the effect of expanding the number of colleagues you can actually reach out and talk to. We shared a lot of information, and the more we talked, the more we found we have in common."

The group toured downstream areas like Budd Inlet and upstream places such as the University of Washington’s Center for Sustainable Forestry at Pack Forest. Members also heard from people directly affected by water quality issues. On a visit to the Squaxin Island Tribe, for instance, they learned history from the tribal viewpoint and received information about case histories involving Native American rights.

Hartman said the week supplied her with a stable of local experts from which she can draw, as well as ideas for field work in various subjects she teaches.

Some of those new resources will find their place among courses she teaches in marine biology, field ecology and environmental science for non-majors.

Hartman, who grew up on an Iowa dairy farm, says she’s always enjoyed biology and the joy of watching students get excited about what they’re learning.

She says that because Saint Martin's is small, the biology faculty gets to offer what few schools can: individual attention and lots of hands-on experience, especially on senior projects. Because of this requirement, a biology major graduates having designed and performed all stages of an individual research project.

"Besides teaching our individual courses, I think it's the best thing we do in the biology department," she says.