Steven D. Brewer

Senior Lecturer II

Steven D. Brewer
311A Morrill III South

B.S., Alma College, 1985
M.S., Western Michigan University, 1996
Ph.D., Western Michigan University, 1996

Research Interests: 

As a non-tenure-track faculty member, I seek to empower students to conduct small scale research projects often related to local ecology and natural history. These have included surveys of tardigrades and terrestrial mollusks (contributed to the Natural History Collection); mapping and documenting invasive species, such as garlic mustard, leafminers, and earthworms; and conducting behavioral observations on spiders, woodlice, and planarians. Each semester, I aim to explore new topics, about which I am personally unfamiliar, in order that the students and I can learn together. 

Teaching Statement: 

As a teacher, I aim to create environments where students learn from experience. I design activities that challenge students to explore the world and their understanding to identify where more learning is needed. And, through open-ended projects, students discover how to extend their knowledge. My goal is for all students to discover that any course can be used to meet their own learning goals and become a vehicle for their personal transformation. In all of my classes, the focus is on fostering student activity that will engender meaningful learning aligned with the Biology Department Learning Goals. I am currently teaching BIOLOGY 312 (Writing in Biology) and HONORS499CK/DK (Open Science Instrumentation and Data Collection).

Representative Publications: 

Brewer, S.D. 2020. Raspberry Pi Setup. Available at:

Brewer, S.D. 2020. Raspberry Pi and Arduino. Available at:

Brewer, S.D. 2020. Python on Raspberry Pi. Available at:

Brewer, S.D. 2020. Raspberry Pi and General Purpose Input/Output (GPIO). Available at:

Schweik, C.M, Rees, P., Brewer, S.D., Olson, C.,  &  Smoliga, D. 2015. MAKER: Applications in Do-It-Together, Environmental Monitoring Technologies – Student Projects from and Interdisciplinary, Flipped, Service Learning, Makerspace Course. Paper presented in the Make It! Manufacturing Division, ASEE 2015 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington, June14 – 17, 2015.

Rees, P., Olson, C., Schweik, C.M., & Brewer, S.D. 2015. Work in Progress: Exploring the Role of Makerspaces and Flipped Learning in a Town-Gown Effort to Engage K12 Students in STEAM. Paper presented in the K-12 & Pre- College Engineering Division, ASEE 2015 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington, June14 – 17, 2015.

Brewer, S.D., Hoagland, D.B, and Hoogendyk, T. 2003. The Data Aggregation Project: Free software that transforms the student laboratory experience. Journal of Computing in Higher Education. 15(1): 108-127.

Brewer, S.D. 2000. Duck! Software for Practice Testing. Available at:

Brewer, S.D. 1996. A Problem-solving Approach to the Teaching of Evolution. Bioscene. 22(2): 11-17.

Brewer, S.D. 1996. Towards Improved Teaching of Evolution: The co-evolution of Phylogenetic Investigator and a conceptual/procedural knowledge base. BioQUEST Notes. 6(3): 11-17.

Brewer, S.D. and R. Hafner. 1996. Phylogenetic Investigator 2.0: Software for teaching phylogenetic inference. 1996 BioQuest Library (4th edition), ePress Project, University of Maryland Press.

Brewer, S.D. 1993. Pri la konduta ekologio de larvaj odonatoj (On the behavioral ecology of larval dragonflies). Scienca Revuo 44(1): 15-1.

Brewer, S.D., R.A. Beck, and R.A. Roeper. 1988. Observations of the gallery habits of Trypodendron retusum (Coleoptera:Scolytidae) infesting Aspen in central Michigan. Great Lakes Entomologist 21(1): 5-8.