Faculty Profile - Sandra Milligan

Sandra Milligan

Sandra Milligan



MSc in Anatomy and Neurobiology (University of Ottawa, 1998)


Subjects: Biology

Sandra has been teaching biology full-time at NIC since 2003. Her three degrees are in the fields of toxicology and neuroscience, but she is now a “generalist,” naturalist and life-long learner.

Sandra has grown roots in the #CampbellRiver community and is fortunate to be active in community organizations that affect positive change, including Greenways Land Trust, Discovery Passage Aquarium, the Cycling Advocacy Committee, BC Centre for Aquatic Health Science and the Beaver Lodge Trust Committee. Her actions support what basic biology tells us: that we must advocate for the species who cannot speak for themselves and act to share our space with them.

Sandra's advocacy efforts have been recognized with several commendations, including the first Local Environmental Hero Award, the Canada 150 Land Trust Honour Roll, the Communities in Bloom Best Green Garden and Best Residential Garden and the Campbell River Stewardship Special Recognition award.

Within the NIC community, Sandra served on the Research Steering Committee, developing policy needed to gain Tri-Council eligibility and paved the way to federal research funding for NIC faculty. Representing faculty on the PD committee, she organized many events over the years, bringing faculty and staff together to learn about the training we do to stay current in our fields.

As an educator, Sandra loves to bring the fun of learning to the community by providing public outreach on local birds, intertidal life, brain anatomy, heart dissections, local history and invasive plants.

Sandra also brings the outside community and nature into the classroom, with classroom topics focused on the daily events happening in our bodies, brains, communities and world so that students can connect concepts to their interests and future careers.

She has three talented children, whose experiences in university inform her teaching and keep her in touch with people of all ages.

MSc in Anatomy and Neurobiology (University of Ottawa, 1998)


MSc University of Victoria, Psychology (1993)

BSc Toxicology, Chemical Emphasis, University of Guelph (1988)

BIO-060 Concepts in Biology I (Inhabiting the Human Body)

BIO-102 Principles of Modern Biology II

BIO-103 Principles of Modern Biology 1

BIO-110 Concepts of Biology I (Inhabiting the Human Body)

BIO-111 Concepts in Biology II (Inhabiting the Earth)

BIO-160 Human Anatomy & Physiology I

BIO-161 Human Anatomy & Physiology II

BIO-201 Introduction to Biochemistry

BIO-215 Introductory Microbiology

MacPherson, P.A., Jones, S., Pawson, P., Marshall, K. and McBurney, M.W.  1997.  P19 cells differentiate into glutamatergic and glutamate-responsive neurons in vitro.  Journal of Neurobiology.  80(2).  487-499.

Humphreys, P. Jones, S. And Hendleman, W.  1996.  Three-dimensional cultures of fetal mouse cerebral cortex in a collagen matrix.  Journal of Neuroscience Methods.  66(1).  23-33.

Pelletier, M.R., Kirkby, R.D., Jones, S.J. and Corcoran, M.E.  1994.  Pathway specificity of noradrenergic plasticity in the dentate gyrus.  Hippocampus.  4:  181-188.

Jones, S.J., Moore, D., and Corcoran, M.E.  1994.  Variability of long-term potentiation in awake, behaving rat. Society of Neuroscience Abstracts.  29(2): 142. 

  • Teaching full-time at NIC

    Sandra loves to talk about biology! The best (and most fun!) way to learn is to link new learning to daily living: living organisms, lab activities, field trips and exercise keeps students engaged. Exploring life is the best way to learn about it!

  • Campbell River Community

    Greenways Land Trust, President:  Environmental steward, invasive plant projects

    BC Centre for Aquatic Health Science, Chair

    Discovery Passage Sea Life Society Aquarium, Director, 2012 – 2013

    Active Campbell River, Chair, 2006-2009, Signage in Beaver Lodge Lands

  • Sandra has three talented grown children/adults who have helped her learn about life. Participating in their learning experiences provides a window into high school curriculum so that she understands the challenges of transition to post-secondary education.

  • Sandra has been a competitive runner and triathlete: ran more than 10 marathons, qualified for Boston each time, participated in multiple triathlons and earned a place on Team Canada for the 2011 World Triathlon Championships in Beijing. Now she enjoy long (slower!) cycling adventures.

  • Sandra can tell you what cool event is happening in nature when it's your birthday. Identifying seasonal changes provides immense enjoyment of the natural world. Is your birthday between May 15 and July 15? This is the only time of the year to hear the etheral song of the Swainson's thrush.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the featured faculty member. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of North Island College.