Passion for Plants

Dr. Robert Koble doesn’t have a green thumb. But he does know the genetics of plants. He knows the molecular biology of plants, and he knows that plants are at the very root – literally – of all that we do. This fall, he brought his knowledge and passion for plants to Corning Community College as the newest member of the College’s biology faculty.

“I worked in a plant biology lab in college and got to see really cool research,” said Dr. Koble, adding that many discoveries are made on plants first. “I also gained a sincere appreciation for plants and want to spark in my students a deeper understanding of the role plants play in everyday life.”

He could do this with traditional lectures. But he doesn’t. Dr. Koble’s students spend their time watching NetFlix documentaries, conducting experiments, and moving.

“Many people prefer active learning,” said Dr. Koble. “In my classes, students will learn by doing. We work in small groups. We share findings. We use all of our senses, and no two classes are alike. Variety is also critical.”

Dr. Koble developed his teaching style on the west coast, teaching at UC Davis, Moreno Valley College, and UC Riverside, where he earned his doctorate in plant genetics.

“I could have taken my professional aspirations in a lot of directions, but teaching made the most sense for me,” said Dr. Koble. “Of all the professions, it offers the best reward: knowing that something I taught a student was useful and helped them understand their impact on our environment.”  

Similarly, Dr. Koble could have chosen to teach at any number of colleges. He chose CCC because of the faculty, students, and resources.

“I was impressed with my colleagues,” said Dr. Koble. “They have personal and professional expertise that adds clarity to theoretical discussions. The resources here – the greenhouse and the 500 acres of campus that includes the Nature Center – were also central to my decision. I found everything I need to share my passion for plants right here.”