I want to help students build a tool-kit, a set of skills and core knowledge that they can grow and build on. I think this is especially important in a fast-paced world where both the context of environmental management is changing, and the scientific knowledge we have is evolving quickly (including core areas like physics, chemistry, and biology). As citizens and scientists I believe we need to be able to be iterative and flexible to incorporate new knowledge while still fostering critical thinking about new information as it comes in.
Depending on the topic of the class, specific material and themes covered will change, but I always hope infuse the material with the following:
- Up to date science in the field
- Balance short-term interest with long-term usefulness
- Tools to find information
- Critical Thinking
- Systems Thinking
- Communication (written, oral, and between class members)
I think it is important to remember that learning happens in many different ways, and I strive to support different learning styles by balancing different types of assignments and by encouraging real conversation and discussion in and out of class. I have found that group projects and locally relevant and applied projects, although challenging for students, really allows them to fully engage with the material, be creative, and incorporate the tools I think are important to understand human-environment interactions and not just learn facts.
2016 “Algal blooms and nutrients: Why should cities care?” Earth People and the Environment, Rowan University
2016 “The Science-Policy Interface: The complexities of better managing phosphorus” Environmental Policy, Environmental Science, Washington State University Vancouver
2013 “Agriculture, food, and water and the phosphorus lens”, Strategies for Sustainability (MGPO 440), McGill University, Montreal, Qc.
2013-2015 “Phosphorus: an essential resource” Geography of Natural Resources (GHP 381), Arizona State University online undergraduate class. Video lecture
2011 “The use of extractive vs. participative methods in student sustainability research”, SOS Research proposal writing SOS 59, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.
2009-2011 SOS 110: The Sustainable world, Arizona State University (3 semesters)
Responsible for teaching two breakout sections of 25 students each week, in addition to preparing lessons and assignment plans, and grading essays and exams for a lower-division undergraduate class about the science behind sustainability problems.
2010 SOS 134: Sustainable Ecosystems, Arizona State University (1 semester)
Responsible for facilitating student discussion groups, as well as, grading papers and exams for an upper-division undergraduate class covering basic ecological principles in light of sustainability thought.