Vernon L. Avila is a professor emeritus of biology at San Diego State University. He received his B. S. from the University of New Mexico, his M. A. from Northern Arizona University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Dr. Avila was a high school biology teacher for ten years and was nominated for the National Association of Biology Teachers' Outstanding Biology Teacher Award. He has also received special recognition from the American Institute of Biological Sciences as having one of the four most successful and effective general biology courses in the United States, and was selected by the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, New Jersey, to write, construct, and evaluate the Graduate Record Examination Subject Area Test in Biology. Dr. Avila is also a reader for the Advanced Placement Biology Examination. He has served as an Expert Consultant for the National Cancer Institute and for the Division of Research Resources at the National Institutes of Health, has had several articles published in professional journals, and has over 30 years’ experience in the teaching of introductory biology courses at the university level.