Harting, Sandra

Sandra Harting, PhDPhoto of Sandra Harting racing her burro.

AKA: Miskwa Yellowknife
Associate Professor, Sciences
CMC discipline coordinator – Sciences

970-486-4269 | sharting@coloradomtn.edu


BS Biology and Chemistry
PhD Ecotoxicology

Classes TaughtPhoto of Sandra Harting

BIO 156 – Aquatic Entomology
BIO 111 – General College Biology I
BIO 222 – Ecology
BIO 201 & 202 – Human Anatomy & Physiology I and II
BIO 204 – Microbiology
CHE 111 & 112 – General College Chemistry I & II

Professional Organizations

President, American Chemical Society, Duluth-Superior Chapter (1988)
American Fisheries Society, MSU Chapter (2005-2006)

Personal Interests

Organic gardening, many silent sports (ultradistance running, pack burro racing, bouldering, cycling, Nordic skiing, hiking/backpacking, sea (Lake Superior) kayaking.


  • Kerfoot, W.C., Harting, S.L., and J.A. Robbins. 2003. Mercury in Native Ore Deposits: Focussing Troughs Reveal an Unexpected Source of Lake Superior Sediments. Submitted to Limnology and Oceanography.
  • Kerfoot, W.C., Harting, S.L., and J.A. Robbins. 2003. Amalgam Mercury in Copper, Silver, and Gold Ores: An Unexpected Contribution to Lake Superior Sediments. Geochemistry Journal on Mining and Metals in the Environment. May, 2003.
  • Kerfoot, W.C., Harting, S.L., Rossmann, R. and J.A. Robbins. 1999. Anthropogenic Copper Inventories and Mercury Profiles from Lake Superior: Evidence for Mining Impacts. J. Great Lakes Res., 25(4) 663-682.
  • Call, D.J., Poirier, S.L., Knuth, M.L., Harting, S.L., and C.A. Lindberg. 1987. Toxicity of 3,4-Dichloroaniline to Fathead Minnows (Pimephales promelas), in early life-stage exposures. Bull. of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 38(2): 352-358.

Teaching Philosophy

The role of a university professor is to intellectually challenge students, exhorting them to become good critical thinkers and observers, and to be able to formulate explanations of what they observed. These are the fundamental skills not only of a scientist but also an involved, productive, citizen in our society.

A good professor also prepares the student for the “real world.” In order to hone such skills, I include a large field work component in my courses whenever possible. Basic fieldwork and field sampling techniques are valuable tools the student needs to master whether their future goal is employment upon graduation or entry into a graduate program. I personally believe that a biology student’s first task is to become familiar with the bioregion in which they find themselves. The second task should be to understand that we as humans impact that bioregion. The lack of this type of familiarity with “bioregionalism” is at the root of many of the biological/ecological problems we face today, from failure of agricultural practices, faulty resource management strategies, to invasions of exotic species.

Students learn best when they are interested. Motivating the students is especially important when teaching required core courses and/or those for non-majors. Such courses are an instructor’s opportunity to make or break a student’s interest in the Sciences. To achieve this goal, I utilize currently relevant examples to aid in teaching basic principles. A student will retain more about the interactions of habitat fragmentation, food web dynamics and bioaccumulation if these topics are presented in the context of, for example, the plight of the Florida panther. A student will be far more interested in human population issues by using a comparison of birth rates in human females at various ages of first childbearing rather than a pile of equations. Thermochemistry is less boring when it is used to calculate the energy value of alternative fuels.

As a scientist teaching science courses, I additionally encourage my students to develop their writing and speaking skills. The trend of de-emphasizing such skills for science and engineering students at some institutions does the student a great disservice. One is judged by the quality of one’s writing and ability to be articulate regardless of profession whether it is a resume, an application to graduate school, a manuscript, or a graduate thesis.