Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Celia Connor

 Celia Connor

Associate Diploma of Horticulture, Bachelor of Science - Plant Science, Distinction, PhD candidate, Science Education, Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education - in progress

Celia has had an interest in biological exploration from an early age. As a primary age student, she collected shells, rocks and preserved reptiles. Her teenage years she cultivated tadpoles, lizards and antlions. Living adjacent to a state forest meant that Celia was able to jump the fence and remove tags from trees selected for removal, her first radical act as an environmental conservationist.

This passion for science continued, and as a young adult, Celia studied horticulture at the Victorian College of Agriculture and Horticulture where she specialised in plant propagation. She then concurrently worked in the environmental horticulture industry and her own landscaping business for the next ten years. After a back injury, Celia went back to tertiary education and studied plant science, ecology and earth sciences at Charles Sturt University. With a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Plant Science by Distance Education, she understands both the joys and frustrations of studying online.

In 2012, Celia homeschooled her three children for a year and travelled around Australia. During this year, she realised her passion for teaching and has since developed a particular interest in developing environmental and agricultural science resources and activities for primary age children.

In 2020 Celia began the Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education and is currently enjoying being a student within the Faculty of Education as well as an academic in the Faculty of Science.

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Celia is the Subject Coordinator for BIO100 (Concepts of Biology), AGR202 (Food, Culture and the Environment) and HRT301 Plant Propagation.

  • BIO100 is a large first-year subject and involves a diverse cohort within the School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences (SAVS). Celia organises and delivers the practicals, lectures and tutorials for the on-campus students and the residential school for online students. She teaches using a multimedia approach where possible, that engages students in new and innovative ways of learning.
  • AGR202 covers climate change, sustainable agriculture, ethics and Indigenous land management and is taught to second-year students within the School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences (SAWS). This subject takes students on a challenging journey and encourages reflection on cultural and ethical beliefs relating to agricultural land management within a science-based context.
  • HRT301 is a third-year subject in the Bachelor of Horticulture degree that involves the study of the theoretical and practical aspects of the commercial propagation of amenity horticultural plants.

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Celia is a strong advocate for science, in particular environmental science, within the Wagga Wagga community and is a member of several environmental groups. She believes a connection to the natural world is a critical part of our mental and physical health. Celia aims to raise awareness of these issues for all, but in particular for children, who are the next custodians of our natural world. Children studying in rural communities have limited access to STEM programs and professionals. Also, there are still marked gender inequities in science. One thing she greatly values about being part of the CSU community is that it facilitates and empowers her actions 'for the public good'.

Her current projects include:

1. Photosynthetic bark images: Art/Science collaboration and exhibition with Associate Professor Geoff Burrows, School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences (SAWS) and Dr James Farley from the School of Communication and Creative Industries (SCCI). Showcasing light and stereo microscopy of photosynthetic bark tissues.

2. Stereo microscope in primary schools to support regional students: CSU/community collaboration with Aurelie Quade (PhD student). Initiated a STEM program in regional schools with the support of a successful grant to purchase a stereo microscope and through a series of hands-on introductory workshops.

3. Filming on CSU Farm, Biodiversity in agricultural landscapes: Collaboration between CSU farm, SAWS and SCCI. Its purpose is to create a resource which utilises drone and photo point footage, interviews with James Stevens the farm manager, video footage of biodiversity zones on-farm and images of specific features of biodiversity value.

4. Science consulting for the subject Multicamera Television (TVP108): SCCI and SAWS Art/Science collaboration with Rosie Warren (Science communicator), Drs John Harper (SAWS), Dom Sweeney and James Mairata (SCCI). Assisted student production groups in writing and producing a 10-14 minute TV production for early childhood groups.

5. CSU/with Wagga Wagga City Library for Science Week: Filmed and produced 5 x 3-minute shorts on 'science for breakfast'. Themes include breakfast foods and science: yoghurt, sourdough bread, fruit and vegetables and composting waste. Collaboration with vermiculture group, NutriSoil.

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Celia is a member of:

  • ILWS: Institute of Land, Water and the Society
  • HERDSA: Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia

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View Celia Connors publications and projects in CRO.

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