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Matt Wilson

2014 Fellow
Home Street Middle School
Bishop, California

Matt was born in Santa Barbara, Calif., and was raised nearby in Ojai, a small, coastal mountain town.

In seventh grade, he received an Al Merrick surfboard as a gift. He taught himself to surf and has been an avid surfer ever since. Though he didn’t know it at the time, the development of the careful observation skills required to be a good surfer would prove to be extremely useful in his future endeavors as an ecologist and a naturalist.

He earned a Bachelor of Science in biological sciences and a Bachelor of Arts in literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). Matt began teaching on campus, where he served as a writing tutor for undergraduate and graduate students and a teaching assistant for an undergraduate writing class.

Immediately following graduation, he moved to San Francisco to work as a science communications intern for Save the Redwoods League (SRL), a nonprofit that protects redwood forests and funds relevant scientific research. During his internship, Matt reported on scientific research funded by SRL. Based on information found in technical documents and gathered from interviews of scientists, he wrote over 20 articles that can be found on their website. He went on to work as a research associate at the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Lab and as a graduate teaching assistant for several undergraduate biology courses while earning a Master of Science in wildlife biology at the University of Montana. From this research, Matt published three scientific journal articles.

While teaching a freshwater ecology lab using curriculum that he developed, Matt was thrilled to see his students conducting the work of actual scientists—developing research questions, collecting data in the field, analyzing the data and presenting their findings. This experience led him to pursue teaching as a career. Before beginning the Master of Education program at UCSB, he taught as both a math and science substitute teacher and a long term science substitute teacher.

As a KSTF Teaching Fellow, Matt expects “to gain a broader understanding of the science teaching profession by being exposed to the experiences of other Fellows.”

On the weekends, he volunteers at a local organic farm, picking vegetables for their community supported agriculture program. In addition to surfing and volunteering, Matt enjoys backpacking in the Sierra Nevada mountains.


By carrying out science inquiry in the classroom and outdoors, students learn by doing. They learn to be curious, think critically, design creatively, and argue from evidence—skills that will prove useful in many aspects of their lives. As a science teacher, it’s my job to facilitate this type of learning.

Matt Wilson
2014 Fellow