Chad Heins

Chad Heins

Assistant Professor - Biology

Teaching Philosophy

I love teaching.  I love learning.  I love working with students.  My goal is to make learning as fun for my students as it is for me.  

I believe that students learn the most when they are challenged and I prefer to lead students to the answer rather than provide it directly.   In today’s world of internet searches, it is easy to find an answer but more important for students to be able to develop critical thinking skills and use the answers they find to raise new questions.    My approach in the classroom and laboratory stresses the inseparable ideas of form and function.

Research Interests

The more I learn, the more I want to know. 

Spiders of Minnesota

Biological inventory work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service led to looking for a list of Minnesota spiders.  When I found that such a list did not exist, I spent several years learning about spiders and their distribution and wrote the list.  The end product is now available here.

Bethany Hawkwatch

This project involves raptor-loving students from all the different majors at Bethany.  Every fall volunteers from the community and our own Bethany students count southbound raptors like hawks, eagles, and vultures which utilize the Minnesota River Valley during fall migration.  Our data are submitted to Hawkcount which is a clearinghouse for data from across the country and are utilized to create the Raptor Population Index for North America.  The last two years, we've counted over 4,000 raptors!


I’ve been teaching at Bethany since January of 2000.  My wife and I have four children under the age of 12 which keep us plenty busy at home.  We love camping with the family and exploring Minnesota State Parks and National Parks across the country.

In my free time I can normally be found outdoors playing with my kids, taking pictures, or birdwatching.