• Contact Information 
    Classroom: C202
    Classroom phone number: 503-673-7815 extension 4895
    Email: OppeltE@wlwv.k12.or.us 
    About MeCollecting earthworms
    I will be going into my 17th year of teaching at West Linn High School.  I am extremely excited for the year begin and to meet all of my students!  I grew up in a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio. After I graduated from high school, I headed to Purdue University where I began my science research endeavors. I have conducted studies on many species including; grey squirrels, short-tailed shrews, short-tailed weasels, coyotes, salamanders, snapping turtles, and many bird species. I have also helped out in the taxidermy lab making museum specimens for the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at Purdue University.  That was a lot of fun!  I love science and I think there is a piece of science for everyone.  
     Undergraduate  Purdue University  B.S. Wildlife Management
     Study Abroad    University of New England  
     Masters #1  Northern Michigan University  M.S. Biology
     Masters #2  Oregon State University  M.S. Science Education
     American Woodcock Survival Study
     American Woodcock
    I conducted a 3-year study on one of the coolest birds called the American woodcock (Scolopax minor).  The American woodcock's  lives in the eastern United States and south eastern Canada. The study was a joint effort among 3 groups of scientists in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.  Areas of concentration for the study were fall survival, local movements, and habitat. My collaborators and I published our third article in July 2013.  The latest publication was in the Journal of Wildlife Management.
     Examining Biogeographic Patterns in Frankia-Alnus rubra Symbiosis
     Frankia nodule
    I conducted research on the symbiotic relationship between an actinorhizal bacteria from the genus Frankia and 3 alder tree species.  I went to Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens, and the Coastal Range to collected Frankia nodules from the alder tree roots. The nodules can be as small as an pencil eraser and as large as a baseball.  From the nodules, I extracted DNA and then used the DNA in two molecular methods; Polymerase Chain Reactions (PCR) and Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP).  With the data we from the these methods along with analyzing the DNA strains using a computer program, we constructed a phylogenic tree that examined the relationship of the 3 alder species. In addition to the molecular examination of the Frankia, we set up a bioassay which inspected whether there Frankia are host-specific to a particular species of alder.