Richard Malatesta

Academic Tutor

From an early age, I was fascinated by living things, especially the amazing organisms of the marine world. I decided I wanted to become a marine biologist and set out on that path with a biology degree from the University of Tampa. My time in Florida fed the fire of my interest in the oceans: I learned to SCUBA dive and even got the opportunity to live aboard a small research vessel for a month with other student researchers. Inspired by excellent teachers, I decided to pursue a Ph.D and become a college professor myself. For the next six years I studied marine ecology at the University of Connecticut and spent every semester as a graduate teaching assistant — a job I loved.

After completing my doctoral work, I took an amazing job teaching oceanography for the Sea Education Association, where I took college undergraduates on six-week research trips aboard a tall ship rigged for deep water sampling. Following that experience, I served as the Academic Dean for a study abroad organization called The School for Field Studies where I administered field ecology teaching and research programs all over the world. During my decade and a half at the college level, I also got the opportunity to teach for high-quality university programs such as the Williams College/Mystic Seaport, the University of New Haven, Southampton College, and the University of San Diego.

I was offered and accepted a job teaching biology for a small independent school in Sandy, Utah. I spent twenty years at Waterford School, a liberal arts college-preparatory institution, serving as Science Department Chair and teaching Advanced Placement Biology, Advanced Placement Environmental Science, Marine Biology and ninth grade Biology. I also taught seventh grade physical science and eighth grade genetics and ecology.

When I first began teaching AP Biology, I found it to be quite focused on memorization and knowing “facts”. I’ve been pleased to see the curriculum change in a direction that better matches my teaching philosophy. I prefer the present emphasis on question-asking, data collection, and scientific process. I find this to be a superior way to both engage in science and build the critical thinking skills the future scientist will rely upon. The one-on-one nature of the tutoring environment is an ideal way for a student to practice and reinforce these skills.

After over three decades of teaching, I find myself still excited to share the wonders of science and understanding of the natural world. Nothing is more intellectually exciting than the moment when a complex concept finally “clicks” for a hard-working student. Science is a way of seeing the familiar world through a novel lens. The ability to understand the “why behind the what” lets the scientist appreciate their world in a deeper, more profound way. Helping students gain that same appreciation is a privilege and a pleasure.

Subjects Tutored:

Academic Biology
AP Biology
AP Environmental Science


Happy Parents and Students

 My tutor was really flexible with her schedule and spent a lot of time on the areas that I needed extra help with.   Read what others are saying

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