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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences

Jesse Brunner .

Jesse Brunner

Excellence in Graduate Teaching

Associate Professor
Biological Sciences

One of Jesse Brunner’s teaching goals is to make his graduate students “a little dangerous” with statistics. In his Quantitative Methods and Statistics in Ecology course, Jesse focuses on developing his students’ understanding of how to use data and subject matter knowledge to make inferences about the world.

Jesse’s pedagogical philosophy is highly student-focused. He grounds his teaching with foundational materials, but rarely lectures or uses PowerPoint slides. Rather, the majority of class time is spent in discussion—asking questions, presenting challenges, and learning from each other. To further expand understanding, Jesse encourages students to apply the statistical concepts they are learning to their own research problems.

He emphasizes iteration and empowers his students to “be fearless” when it comes to learning statistical methodologies. Experimenting, admitting to uncertainty, and making mistakes are fundamental research lessons Jesse regularly incorporates in his curricula.

Statistical analysis is a powerful tool for discovery and Jesse delights in sharing his deep knowledge and understanding of its potential with the next generation of scientists.