Every aspect of Natalie’s research involves undergraduates—her students learn lab and field skills, co-author papers, and give presentations on their research at regional and national meetings.
“I’ve always been interested in things that are inherently difficult and complicated,” says Natalie Coe, professor of biochemistry and genetics at GMC. An experienced teacher and researcher, her career path in the sciences got off to a rocky start. Her most difficult class in high school (location) was chemistry—on her first test, she scored 23 points out of 100.
“I was just blown away, but then it became this sort of ‘I’m going to be good at this.’ I still have that test,” she says. “It was like ‘touché,’ and then I ended up getting an undergraduate degree in chemistry.”
She still keeps the offending test which serves as a reminder of the satisfaction of tackling difficult things.
Natalie received her Ph.D. in biochemistry, molecular biology and biophysics from the University of Minnesota. She was a finalist for the Excellence in Community-Based Teaching award from the Vermont Campus Compact in 2007 and received the K. Patricia Cross Future Leader Award presented by the American Association for Higher Education in 1999. She’s a leading expert on American Beech Bark Disease, an affliction that has spread through New England forests.
“I was at the Jackson Labs in Bar Harbor [Maine] doing my post-doc, and decided after a year and a half to leave specifically to teach at Green Mountain,” she says. “The deciding factor was, while I was at the labs, I worked with students over the summer who had REUs (research experiences for undergraduates), and I realized ‘that’s what I want to do.’”
Natalie quickly became an important part of the science programs at Green Mountain, and she still loves working one-on-one with students. Every aspect of her research involves undergraduates—her students learn complex laboratory and field skills, co-author papers, and give presentations on their research at regional and national meetings.
“I don’t think it’s common to get the type of dedicated student that you get here who just loves science as much as I do,” she said.