Degrees and Certifications:

Theodore G. Manno


Bioscience I & II (Dual Enrollment with Univ. of Arizona), Bioscience Internship, Biology


Ph.D., Biology (Auburn University, 2008) 

B.S., Biology (Rider University, 2004) 

Secondary Teaching Certification (Prescott College, 2009) 

Approved Areas/Endorsements: Biology, Career and Technical Education (CTE, Agriculture-Biotechnology), General Science, Physical Science, K-12 Librarian, English, 6-8 Mathematics, Structured English Immersion (SEI) 

CPhT (Certified Pharmacy Technician) 2022 

Prior Experience

This is my 18th year of teaching, 15th year in Arizona public schools, and 1st year at IRHS (as of SY2022-23).  

Flinn Foundation Distinguished Educator Award (2019) 

AZ-NV Academy of Science Outstanding Teacher of the Year (2011) 

5-time ETS Reader for AP Biology Exams in Kansas City 

Previous teaching positions

2011-2022: Catalina Foothills High School (CFHS), Tucson, AZ 

2005-2008: Auburn University (Graduate Assistantship), Auburn, AL 

2009, Spring: Arizona Western College (Adjunct), Yuma, AZ 

2014 and 2015, Fall: Pima County Community College (Adjunct), Tucson, AZ  

2009-2011: San Luis Middle School, San Luis, AZ

2008-2009: Scottsdale USD (Assistant), Scottsdale, AZ 

2009, Spring: Paradise Valley High School (PVHS, Student Teacher), Phoenix, AZ

Core Educational Belief 

I believe in the individual uniqueness of every student, and that every student can become a productive and contributing member of society. My core values as a teacher focus on (1) treating the classroom as a primarily academic setting, where the subject of biology is taught through active participation rather than passive observation, where students have the responsibility to arrive at class ready, willing, and prepared to learn, and where actions have consequences; (2) building young men and women of character who are respectful, honest, open-minded, persistent, employable, have strong work ethic, follow directions, and are resilient to setback; and (3) socializing students to prepare them to work effectively in teams or independently and interact appropriately with the different types of people they will encounter at IRHS and in the future. In addition, I approach teaching the subject of biology as part of a broad, well-rounded secondary-level education that complements other academic subjects and prepares students to self-direct their choices for post-secondary study and their careers. 

Defining Moment in My Education 

Although I cannot choose a particular moment, I can recall numerous instances during my education where I was faced with a challenge or setback. After I realized that I could only depend on what I earned, I gathered myself and worked hard to succeed. I can also recall a number of times when, while working outside of teaching, I realized the effects of an individual not having an education through hearing about their experiences. Because an education is something that can never be taken away, time has made me appreciate the education that I have, and the opportunity I have been offered to teach others.    

Why I am Committed to Amphi 

Amphi’s vision for a “Picture of a Graduate” aligns with my core values as a teacher and my expectations for myself and students. At IRHS, we expect students to learn academic content, demonstrate proper citizenship, communicate consistently and clearly, think creatively and critically, care for themselves and one another, and collaborate to solve problems.   

Research Experience 

Environmental impacts of invasive nutria along the Gulf Coast 

Behavioral ecology and genetics of prairie dogs in Utah and ground squirrels in Canada 

Impacts of climate change on rodent behavior in subarctic ecosystems 

Breeding and reintroduction of scarlet macaws in Central America 

Publication Record 

Books: Swamp Rat (Univ. Press of Mississippi, 2017), The Utah Prairie Dog (Univ. of Utah Press, 2014), and Mating Behavior of Columbian Ground Squirrels (Ph.D. Dissertation, Proquest/UMI, 2011) 

*Feature author at Louisiana Festival of Books (2017) and Pavilion Author at Tucson Festival of Books (several years) 

Peer-reviewed journal articles (N = 11, e.g., American Naturalist, Ecosphere, Canadian Journal of Zoology, Animal Behaviour, Journal of Mammalogy); 2 encyclopedia entries (Enc. of Animal Behavior, Enc. of Alabama); dozens of entries in periodicals and other books; and abstracts for various conferences 

My research has been covered by various media outlets (e.g., Discovery News, New Scientist, Deseret News, Sun Herald, AZ Daily Star, KGUN9, American Press, others) 

Photography of wildlife has appeared in numerous publications (above) and on the cover of Journal of Mammalogy (Vol. 89 [4]; 2008) 

Speaker for various conferences and events (e.g., Louisiana State Museum, Western Nat’l Parks Assoc., Empire Ranch, Pima Speakers Series, Tubac Presidio SHP, Univ. VT, AZST Univ., NAU, Coll. So. NV, Glendale Comm. Coll.) 

Peer reviewer for journals such as Proc. Royal Soc. Series B, Journal of Mammalogy, Animal Behaviour, others 

Honored by former students with the namesake of a newly discovered strain of actinobacteriophage virus ("Phage Manno") 

Hobbies and Interests  

I enjoy travelling and have visited all 50 states (& DC/USVI) and 29 countries. I am a jazz musician (piano, tuba) that has played professionally on the Jersey Shore and for Hershey Entertainment and Resorts, and I performed in lead roles in musicals during high school. I was involved with some interscholastic athletics earlier in my teaching career. I also enjoy coffee, cooking, and origami, and I am involved with a few animal-related charities.