Eric Baack has been a professor in the Biology department since 2007, and director of the Environmental Studies program since 2015. Some of his course topics include Evolutionary Biology, Biostatistics, Ecology of the Southwest, and Principles of Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity.
During January Term of 2017, Professor Baack was the co-instructor for a Paidea II course, English Theatre: Mirror of Society and the Human Condition, during which students travel abroad to visit London, Stratford-upon-Avon, and York. The course used theatre productions to present ethical questions. Highlights included a new play asking what the old owe to the young in a time of human-caused disaster (The Children), and a play exploring the ethical demands of friendship at a time of political conflict (This House).
During January term of 2016, Prof. Baack led a course to the Southwest, where students explored the Grand Canyon, Organ Pipe National Monument, and the Santa Rita experimental range while coming to understand the challenges and successes of protecting wildlife in the face of dams, illegal border activity, grazing, and mining.
Ongoing research projects include examining the fate of crop genes in a wild environment in sunflowers, genome size evolution in sunflowers, and examining drug resistance in bacteria found in the springs and streams of NE Iowa.