Nicole Nelson

Assistant Professor of Biology


Nicole holds a B.S. Biology from Indiana University, a M.S. Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development from the University of Wisconsin and is currently a doctoral student at Indiana University where she is studying Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Science Education.  Nicole has worked in the field of science education for nearly two decades and has been an instructor at USF since 2015.  Nicole is committed to student success through authentic learning experiences and building connections within the community.

Areas of Interest

  • Biology
  • Ecology
  • Sustainability
  • Environmental Science
  • Science Education
  • Food Systems
  • Equity in Science
  • Nature of Science

Selected Publications

  • Nelson, N., Shaw, B. (2013). The use of natural schoolyards to develop stewardship attitudes in students. Journal of Extension. [On-line], 51(5) Article 5RIB8. Available at:
  • Nelson, N. (2013). Using school-yard restoration to engage students in water stewardship. Science Scope. March, 41-48
  • Contributing Author, Earth Partnership for Schools (2012), Water Stewardship Curriculum Guide. University of Wisconsin – Madison Arboretum

Selected Presentations

  • Carney, P., Nelson, N., Widhalm, M. Turning Down the Heat: A Local Look at Climate and Food Systems Northeast Indiana Local Food Forum September 20, 2021
  • Guest Lecturer for the USF Lecture Series at Aboite Library, Creating a Sustainable Food System, November 7, 2018

Courses Taught

  • BIOL 130 and 130L: Principles of Biology II Lecture and Laboratory
  • BIOL 131L: Principles of Biology Laboratory I
  • BIOL 208: Animal Nutrition
  • BIOL 353: Forest and Grassland Biology 
  • BIOL 421 Ecology Lecture and Laboratory
  • ENVS 232: Introduction to Environmental Science 
  • ENVS 320: Soil Science Lecture and Laboratory
  • ENVS 240: Intro to Sustainable Food Systems
  • SCIE 480: Science Seminar
Nicole Nelson