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TEDxTheWoodlands2011-Dr. Daniel Kainer-The Power of Optimism: A Little Goes a Long Way!

Dr. Daniel Kainer -- The Power of Optimism: A Little Goes a Long Way!Daniel Kainer is currently in his ninth year as a faculty member at Lone Star College-Montgomery. He is currently serving his second year as director of the Lone Star College Biotechnology Institute (LSCBI) which is home to the first biotechnology program in Texas.After receiving bachelor degrees in psychology and philosophy from the University of Houston, Kainer received his Master's degree in microbiology from Texas Tech University and his doctorate in cell biology from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. During his graduate school years, he experienced the joys of teaching, first-hand, as a teaching assistant and decided to pursue a secondary composite science teaching certification. After teaching high school for one year, he did post-doctoral research at the University of Texas School of Public Health before settling into the full-time teaching career he currently enjoys at Lone Star College.Dr. Kainer has a wide range of academic and entrepreneurial interests. He parlayed a life-long love of astronomy and a career as a biology educator into the development of several continuing education courses and workshops covering the fascinating topic of astrobiology. Since 1998, he has operated a small ecommerce business, selling thousands of items on ebay, amazon, and other internet venues. He is currently an established online bookseller and has translated this personal entrepreneurial experience into short courses offered at Lone Star College.During the past two years, Dr. Kainer has begun a collaboration between the National Algae Association and the Lone Star College Biotechnology Institute. This collaboration has resulted in the development of several algae-derived biofuels research projects, some of which have been integrated into the biotechnology curriculum at Lone Star College. He is currently developing curricula, in conjunction with Santa Fe Community College, for the newly-emerging algae biofuels industry and hopes to be an early contributor toward training a workforce for this industry. A collaboration with the National Algae Association and the LSCBI has led to the establishment of biofuels research opportunities for Lone Star College biotechnology students which includes the unique opportunity to help develop one of the first commercial scale biorefineries in Texas, right here on the Lone Star-Montgomery campus.
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