Faculty Spotlight: Keeley MacNeill

Meet Keeley MacNeill, a lecturer in the School of Natural Resources.
February 27, 2023

What is your position at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln? 

I am a lecturer in the School of Natural Resources. Last semester I taught Wetlands and the Fundamentals of Environmental Sampling. This semester, I am co-teaching Intro to Environmental Science (with Dr. Steve Comfort) and Limnology. Dr. Mark Vrtiska and I are also working on a new class designed to build career skills and a sense of belonging in SNR students. I will also be teaching Stream and River Ecology and helping with Tropical Island Ecosystems.  

What drew you to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln? 

I worked at UNL as a technician just after my bachelor’s degree. While I spent most of my time in Trinidad doing field work, when I was in Lincoln, I enjoyed getting to know the SNR community and working with enthusiastic SNR undergrads. I was excited by this position because I knew I enjoyed living in Lincoln, and I am excited by the opportunity to build my teaching skills in such a collaborative, welcoming environment.  

What aspect of working in an educational setting do you enjoy the most? 

I enjoy how teaching a concept forces me to think about it in a different way that not only enhances my own comprehension and communication abilities but also promotes more diverse thinking in my research scholarship. I also enjoy working with a wide range in people, from first year undergraduates to senior faculty and the challenge of calibrating my communication style to each individual.   

What do you consider your greatest achievement? 

I received a Fulbright grant to conduct research at the University of Oslo with Dr. Dag Hessen. Not only was this an amazing opportunity to build my research experience and network, but it was incredibly personally fulfilling. Part of the Fulbright mission is to promote global citizenship by building cross-national relationships. It was a tremendous privilege to get to engage with another culture at such an intimate level for a whole year.  

What is something that most people don't know about you? 

I almost pursued a career in music (oboe) performance. My mom started teaching me piano as soon as I could sit up by myself, and I have always had an instrument by my side. Music is a great way for me to relax in the evenings and helps me remain grounded when life gets crazy. I also speak Norwegian! 

What is your life like outside of work? 

Most evenings, my husband and I walk our two dogs, cook dinner and either do something active (climbing or swimming) or catch up on housework (or grading!). We have a series of house projects keeping us busy. We’re also working on building a community in Lincoln--we have moved a lot in the past few years! I also enjoy traveling to visit friends and family and playing music. 

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