About Joanne Dougherty
Joanne Dougherty has a BA in Biology and Environmental Sciences from the University of Pennsylvania. Her thesis focused on the ecology of sea anemones in tide pools in Acadia National Park in Maine. After working on a conservation project for a marine preserve in Puerto Rico, she earned a Master of Science from Villanova University. Her master’s thesis focused on the symbiotic relationship between the tiny coquina clam commonly found on the sandy beaches of New Jersey and the hydroid that lives on the clam’s shell. After Villanova she worked as a research technician on a sea urchin aquaculture project. Although her first love is evolution and the ecology of marine invertebrates, she has become passionate about molecular biology. Through her course, students develop a conceptual understanding of the molecular basis of cells, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, cell division, and genetics, laying the foundation for future coursework. Students in her classes are engaged in their own learning, work cooperatively with their peers, learn to craft scientific explanations for natural phenomena and further refine their study skills.
Mrs. Dougherty has been part of the Sacred Heart community since 2004.
She enthusiastically teaches biology to ninth graders and Advanced Placement Biology to seniors. She is the moderator of the "Girls in Medicine" club.
Due to the global pandemic, Joanne has modified her 9th Grade Biology curriculum to dive deep into the science of COVID-19 and the vaccines with her students. She is helping SHA's 9th grade students to understand and become informed about the science involved in creating a vaccine. Joanne is using models and case studies in her curriculum. She has spent time teaching the students through comparisons of the COVID-19 vaccine development and the mumps vaccine, which was the shortest vaccine to be developed before the COVID-19 vaccine.