Meet Our New Science Writing Specialist
Larissa Sano joined the Sweetland faculty as a Science Writing Specialist, with diverse experience in teaching and writing about science. Larissa earned her Ph.D. in Resource Ecology from UM-SNRE, her M.S. in Marine Resources from Oregon State University, and her B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University.
Prior to becoming part of the Sweetland faculty, Larissa was a researcher at U-M, where she investigated human impacts on freshwater ecosystems. She has broad experience in science writing, including publishing peer-reviewed articles, developing funded proposals, and writing persuasive pieces for a general audience. Larissa developed her pedagogy of science writing while teaching writing-intensive undergraduate and graduate courses at Eastern Michigan University.
At Sweetland, Larissa is focused on helping students develop skills in writing about the sciences. In Writing 400, for example, she requires students to complete informal and formal writing assignments, to receive and give feedback, and to actively revise and improve their work. Her pedagogical approach emphasizes both the technical elements and central principles of effective science writing. Larissa currently prioritizes teaching students about traditional scientific writing genres such as journal articles and literature reviews. She plans to augment her courses by adding units that teach students to write to a broader audience, including through social media.
In the future, Larissa envisions expanding science-writing opportunities for U-M students. In this regard, one of her top priorities is to engage with faculty to explore possibilities for integrating writing into their curriculum. She hopes that these efforts will lead to improved student experiences and outcomes in the sciences.