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Bio 10!

Welcome to a New Semester!

This site is provided as a resource to prepare you for a successful start to our fully online asynchronous course. It's not intended to be a comprehensive syllabus – you'll find that hyperlinked below. These are just the highlights.

Bio 10 - The Living World
Spring 2023

First Day: January 25, 2023

16-Week Course with Dr. Mary Poffenroth (She/Her)

An Asynchronous, No Zoom Online Course

Spring 2023 Syllabus - Download Here


Confused about how to add with a permission number/add code? Click here!

Watch a greeting from Dr. Poffenroth

“There is always light. If only we're brave enough to see it. If only we're brave enough to be it.”

Amanda Gorman, Author of The Hill We Climb

Course Highlights


How Our Course Operates

We will have weekly video updates posted to your announcements in Canvas, which are part of the required weekly work of the course. Biology 10 at San Jose State University is a 100% online course and is not self-paced (i.e. you will have weekly deadlines).

Our course is asynchronous, meaning that we do not have any real-time meetings, and there are no zoom sessions to attend for lectures. You will not see the course appear on your Canvas page until the official first day of class.

​Bio 10 will keep you engaged each and every week with readings, videos, discussions, and activities. Please note there are no late assignments or makeup work allowed (since you always have at least a week to submit anytime), so it is important you get the assignments submitted before their weekly deadlines.

How to Access Canvas

Week 1 Path to Success

  1. Sign into Canvas on our first day listed above at

  2. Review our full syllabus 

  3. Complete our welcome module, Module 0, no later than the due date listed in the syllabus above.

Required Materials

​We have one purchase associated with Bio 10, which is access to McGraw Hill Connect. This is a digital learning platform that is required by the biology department for all Bio 10 courses at SJSU. Details on how to enroll and purchase can be found in Module 0 inside our Canvas course.



  1. Email or Canvas message 

  2. I preferred to be addressed as Dr. Poffenroth and use She/Her pronouns 

  3. I respond to email Monday through Friday, except holidays

  4. Expect a response within 2 business days 

  5. More questions? Check out our Q&A Discussion group in Canvas HERE


More... About Me

Dr. Mary Poffenroth

It’s been over 20 years since I first began my science career at NASA, spending the last 15 years as STEM faculty. With innovation and engagement my top priorities, I’ve been able to bring science out of the academy and into the hands of people across the world, ready to use evidence-based information to transform their lives through keynote talks and immersive workshops. I’ve done public talks on such stages as TEDx London, Inbound, and SXSW, and my work has been featured in legacy media outlets such as Time magazine, Forbes, Science, Entrepreneur, and National Geographic.


I have personally taught nearly 20,000 adults both in person and online since 2007 and am the author of Write Present Create: Science Communication for Undergraduates. Some of my proudest accomplishments include being a first-generation college student that would go on to become a Salzburg Global Fellow and being able to graduate from Imperial College London to round out my three master's degrees (biology, psychology, science communications) before finishing my doctorate in psychology.



My Teaching

Bio 10, our class, is a community.


You are not in this alone. To be a successful community, each member must regularly show up, be curious, be willing to lean into discomfort (ah! Scary!), have a positive attitude, and have a willingness to help one another.


Each member of this community is different, and those differences will strengthen your learning by yielding unique insights drawn from diverse experiences. We acknowledge the tremendous amount of expertise in our community and encourage you to support and help one another as challenges and questions are shared.


Moving outside of your comfort zone is incredibly difficult sometimes but necessary to learn and grow. Keep in mind that when you feel the struggle, it is a sign that you are learning. We will celebrate that feeling. When mistakes happen (and they will!), we will recognize them as learning moments that contribute to our growth.

I am so excited to work alongside you! Welcome to Bio 10!


My advice for success

  • Sign into Canvas at least two days a week, one of those should be a Monday for our updates

  • Put deadlines in your planner/calendar

  • Use a speech to text tool, this can help you with your writing and reading of instructions. My favorite is Spechify and VoiceDream

  • Know you're not alone. Reach out sooner than later...we're all human here.

Support for You





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