Capitol Peak, Colorado 14,130 ft.

Rosemary J. Smith's Web Page

Associate Professor of Biology
Dept of Biological Sciences
Idaho State University
Campus Box 8007
Pocatello, ID 83209-8007
phone: 208-282-4918
fax: 208-282-4570
Quick Find: CV, Teaching, Research,


Dr. Rosemary J. Smith's Biographical Information (current CV )

B.A., 1984, Biology,  Pomona College, CA

M.S. and Ph.D., 1991, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, at the University of Arizona, Tucson

Special Science Projects:  
NEW!  ISU's Graduate Fellowships in K-12 Education Project (ISU NSF-GK-12) funds graduate and undergraduate students and K-12 teacher partners to enhance science and engineering in Idaho.  Find out more at the ISU GK-12 website.  
NEW BIOLEARN web page for pre-service and in-service high-school biology teachers!  Access lesson plans and all sorts of other useful links to help you implement inquiry-based learning!

Teaching- To learn about new teaching methods, strategies, and topics to bring into my classrooms, I participate in various discussions and dialogues on faculty development (including preparing graduate students to become college faculty), assessment, undergraduate research, and science education (Project Kaleidoscope, Council on Undergraduate Resarch, biolab, National Science Teacher's Association (NSTA), National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT))

Courses taught at ISU:

Undergraduate Research

    • Theories of Teaching and Learning
    • Assesment techniques
    • Course planning and design
    • Professional Development/The Academic Job
    • Educational Research
    • Current topics in Sci Ed Research

    I am the lead faculty member associated with the Doctor of Arts graduate degree program in Biological Sciences at ISU. 

        DA guidelines (PDF)
        DA internship guidelines (PDF)

Research- Behavioral ecology and evolution and Science Education- click on an organism or subject:

Ecology and behavior of burying beetles (Nicrophorus: Silphidae)
Also visit Nicrophorus  Central!
Biology Education Research
Phylogenetic analyses of  anti-predator behaviors
Competition and coexistence of rodents 

    I am currently recruiting graduate students intersted in pursuing behavioral and ecological studies of burying beetles.  There are opportunities to study the effects of altitudinal/longitudinal changes on demographic or life-history characteristics, the role of competition in carcass selection and parental size/number tradeoffs, dispersal and population genetics, and population dynamics.  There are also collaborative opportunities to study parental care and population genetics using molecular techniques (DNA microsatellites as well as AFLP's), the microbial community (and anti-microbial properties of beetle secretions), and the mechanism of fur-removal (hair/skin microscopy).

    Graduate students may be supported by GK-12 Fellowships, TA-ships, and/or Research Assistantships.

Research and Teaching opportunities for students-  at ISU and RMBL

I have conducted research at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory since 1983. The RMBL is a world-reknown high-altitude field station that emphasizes field research. It is located at 9,500 feet in the Upper East River Valley of the Colorado Rocky Mountains (about 8 miles from Crested Butte). Each summer I work with 2-4 undergraduates and 2 graduate students. If you are interested in a research internship, a teaching internship, a supervised research experience, the ISU undergraduate or graduate programs, learning to teach biology, or you just want to find out more about RMBL or ISU, please contact me.

 Student Projects:

Undergraduate Graduate
Martha Bonilla:  Female reproductive behavior of Nicrophorus.


M.S.  Melissa Merrick:  Thermal physiology of flight in Nicrophorus

M.S. Kira Pontius. Phenotypic plasticity and elevational effects on reproductive behavior in Nicrophorus

In progress:

M.S.  Erin Olson.  Alternative female reproductive strategies in burying beetles.

M.S. Kevin Buffington. Geographic distribution and range expansion in western Nicrophorus.

Maura Buehner:  Carcass takeover rate in Nicrophorus

Master of Natural Science (MNS) degrees, non thesis, for H.S. and Community College teachers.

Russel Grahn, Liana Litzinger, Scott Shramek, Melissa Lamb

Jennifer Howeth:  Competition between N.defodiens and N. investigator Completed:
Jodi McKay, Jose Ramirez, Andrew Stoddard, Trent Jensesn, Danyal Karamatullah  - DNA paternity analyses

D.A.  Mark Lung:  Vigilance and group behavior of Elk in Yellowstone

D.A.  Scott Smidt:  Oviposition behavior of damselflies

D.A. Meredith Burnett.  Morphometric analyses of salmonid fishes.

D.A. Todd Hartle. Scientist-teacher partnerships.

Lots of others!

In progress:
  D.A.  Bill Siebold.  Cooperative learning
  D.A. Ellen Gerton. Reproductive strategies and iteroparity in the burying beetle.
  D.A. Carrie Hall. Acoustic communication across Nicrophorus: stridulation and reception.

Here are some of the things I like to do: