Interview with Augustana’s new biology and environment instructor
Biology and environment majors have already gotten to know a new face at Augustana.
Johanna Weston started this fall term as a sessional on-campus. She is currently teaching Biogeography and is “excited about the topic.” Johanna sat down to answer a few questions about her background and interests:
What is your background?
My background is focused in ecosystem water quality, I worked with the state of California doing ocean water quality research. I focused on rivers, lakes, the ocean and Cyanobacteria, which can release toxins, as well as our trash. I like to think about things pretty holistically and biogeography is pretty similar.
If you didn’t pursue ecology, what else would you be doing?
I don’t know, I’m pretty free spirited right now. I like staying in the teaching to science to policy realm, there’s a lot of aspects to what you can do with that, a big one is science communication. How do we better communicate to the public and policymakers the science that’s on the ground?
What do you do in your spare time?
I am an outdoors person. I run, bike and rock climb. At my core I like being outside, it’s what got me excited about science. I like to cook a lot of good food, I like to brew beer. In Edmonton, I recently found a hop vine and harvested it so now we’re going to brew beer with the hops that we found. It’s biology science cooking.
I’m really excited to be in Camrose for the winter. Monday and Tuesday were my first days out in the Camrose creek trails so I’m really excited to start skiing some of the trails. As of last year I started learning how to skate ski, my husband’s a big cross-country skier and got me out into it so that’s high on my winter list. I want to do backcountry this year as well.
What else should Augustana students know about you?
I like Augustana because it reminds me a lot of my own undergrad, I went to an undergrad that was 1200 students and so I liked being able to get to know pretty much everyone on campus, plus getting to know all your professors and having that smaller class size.
It’s nice to interact in a liberal arts setting, I like coming back to a place that’s similar to where I started. I’m pretty excited about being here teaching, it’s really fun. I’m really enjoying the students here and I really like the supportive atmosphere. I feel like I’m learning just as much as, maybe more than, what the students are learning.