Fenton R. Kay, Ph.D. is a now-retired biologist with 50+ years of experience in the field and lab. Fenton spent the largest part of his career doing NEPA studies and reports. As a result of his experience, Fenton has in-depth understanding of the issues surrounding wildlife, especially endangered species, management and protection. He also has a substantial understanding of the process and requirements for sensitive species surveys and analysis, and report generation for NEPA actions. The wide range of places he has worked as well as his deep interests in natural history provide hm with a wide-ranging understanding and knowledge of environmental management in a variety of places, habitats, and situations.
B.S. in Biology, University of Nevada
M.S. in Zoology in 1969, University of Nevada
Ph.D., New Mexico State University
Following his post-doc, Fenton taught for California State University as an Assistant Professor, followed by working for a company doing the environmental impact statement for the MX Missile Project. That job had him doing field surveys throughout the western U.S. He was the lead person for NEPA actions for the Nevada Department of Wildlife for six years and headed the Endangered Species database group for the Arizona Dept. of Game and Fish for two years. He worked as an independent biological consultant, specializing in NEPA, and worked for several companies as a NEPA specialist over the years.
Motivation for Teaching
Dr. Kay was drawn to teaching while an undergrad. He has taught at Community Colleges, Universities, and For-Profit schools in California, Nevada, and New Mexico; both face-to-face and online. Online is his favorite teaching modality because it allows both the teacher and the students the opportunity to think about and respond to the issues/facts being presented. Dr. Kay uses what he calls a modified Socratic Questioning teaching method in his online classes. He presents material, asks formal questions about the content, then follows up with each student by posing questions and thoughts that are aimed at pushing the student’s thinking beyond the immediate issue.
Helping Students Be Successful
In today’s world, the processes of managing the environment continue to become increasingly complicated. Lock-step thinking, following old patterns is not the answer. Dr. Kay attempts, by his questioning, to push the students to the limits of what we know and understand about environmental management. There are no clear-cut answers in the profession, and Fenton’s approach to presenting the material is an attempt to help student’s make the intellectual and management moves necessary for their success as working professionals.