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Loren Launen

Photo of  Loren  Launen
Putnam Science Center 330 • M/S 2001

I am an environmental microbiologist who specializes in the microbiology of contaminated sites, particularly the microbial communities that degrade organic compounds derived from petroleum and its’ combustion. I chose this area of research because I am fascinated with all creatures microbial and have had a life-long interest in the decomposition and energy flow at the cellular level. I am also interested in the effects of chemicals on living systems which is central to this field of study. My educational background includes a B.Sc. (Hons) with a specialization in biomedical toxicology from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, a doctoral degree in biology (biodegradation microbiology thesis topic) from Simon Fraser University in B.C., Canada and post-doctoral experience from Rutgers University in New Jersey (USA). Prior to joining Keene State I worked in industry as an industrial laboratory manager and environmental consultant, and taught for a year at Maryville College in Tennessee. I love being a professor at Keene State College and a member of the Biology Department because it allows me to fulfill my passion for research and teaching and to work with wonderful colleagues and students. I firmly believe that all students can benefit from gaining an appreciation for the microbial world around and within them and thus I teach laboratory-based microbiology classes for both science and non-science majors. I also teach introductory biology and genetics classes. Out of the classroom environment, I teach through mentoring research students on projects related to my area of specialization, helping them to prepare for employment or graduate training in microbiology or related disciplines while making actual scientific contributions. My philosophy on learning and teaching is best summarized with this old Chinese proverb:

I hear and I forget
I see and I believe
I do and I understand

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