I love engaging with students on the critical social & ecological issues of our time. I have three main goals for students: (1) take ownership of your learning. My aim is to foster your interests and facilitate your confidence in asking new questions. (2) be consistently engaged. I consider it my responsibility to make every class valuable and useful to you, so that you begin to intrinsically thirst for knowledge! (3) practice critical, independent thinking. I aim to introduce tools and ideas that you can integrate with your existing knowledge in order to approach your lives and scholarship with new perspectives.
Wildlife Politics and Policy
Today’s policymakers, wildlife managers, and conservation biologists must make decisions that have important ecological, social, political, and ethical consequences. For instance, how should endangered species be prioritized in terms of their conservation? How much effort should be expended to save a particular species, and with what costs to humans or other wildlife? In a world where everything is affected by human activity, what do we even mean by ‘natural’ or ‘wild’?
This course will wrestle with these types of questions while preparing students to critically evaluate real-world wildlife dilemmas and to make reasoned recommendations regarding potential policy actions.
Concept map of wildlife policy students created in class
On our annual kayak fishing field trip
The central question this course asks is: how are fisheries in the US and around the globe being governed today, and how might they move toward greater sustainability?
By the end of this course, students will be able to: (1) critically evaluate the cultural, political, economic, and ecological complexities faced by fisheries managers, (2) carry on informed conversations with fisheries management practitioners, fishers, and conservationists; and to place their concerns within a larger understanding of fisheries governance, and (3) employ scholarly and government sources to make realistic recommendations for improvements in the sustainability of a particular fishery.
Ecotourism in the Caribbean
This travel course, co-taught with Professor Jennifer Knippen in Management, visits the islands of Martinique, Dominica, and St. Lucia in the Caribbean. This course enables students to:
- Identify and compare the different types of business models in the Caribbean tourism industry.
- Analyze each model in terms of its impact on local social and environmental institutions and long-term financial and environmental sustainability.
- Articulate the successes and challenges of managing an ecotourism enterprise.
- Propose a new model or significantly improve upon an existing ecotourism model, taking into account socioeconomic and environmental impacts.
Student gather around an old-growth tree on Dominica
I also teach:
- Introduction to Environmental Studies
- Environmental Studies Research Methods