Kelchner has more than 20 years of teaching experience at the university level, beginning as an undergraduate assistant at Iowa State University. He favors a liberal education style of teaching, which he has used effectively at many public universities. Students are engaged in discussion, critical thinking, and hands-on experience whenever possible.


With his broad background in behavioral, ecological, and evolutionary sciences, Scot has had a diverse list of teaching assignments over the years.

Iowa State University

  • Field Botany

  • Plant Taxonomy

  • Field Ornithology

  • Introductory Biology Laboratory

  • Outdoor Education

Las Positas College

  • Environmental & Conservation Science

Australian National University

  • Systematics

  • Genetics

  • Evolution

Idaho State University

    Undergraduate Courses:

  • Genetics

  • Biology II: Diversity, Form, Function

  • Systematic Botany (with lab)

  • Seminar in Human Behavioral Evolution

  • Plant and Animal Biogeography

  • Undergraduate Research Experience

    Graduate Courses:

  • Applied Phylogenetics

  • Topics in Phylogenetics and Evolution

  • Systematic Botany (with lab)

  • Biogeography

  • Graduate Research Experience


Since 2005, Scot has formally advised more than 20 undergraduate student research projects and senior theses, student presentations at conferences, and peer-reviewed publications. His lab uses a learning community model that has produced well-trained, confident, and collaborative researchers. Most of his students have continued on with graduate studies and professional degrees.

Kelchner has also been the main advisor of several Ph.D. and M.Sc. students, and a committee member of many other graduate students. He is known for his active participation on committees and his ready willingness to help out with any barriers experienced by the students. In 2011, he was given an Outstanding Graduate Teacher and Mentor Award at Idaho State University.