Heller-Brown Building, 156
Departments/ProgramsThe Heller School for Social Policy and Management
DegreesUniversity of Pennsylvania, Ph.D.
Yale University, M.F.S.
Carleton University, B.A.
ExpertiseI describe here two areas of expertise.
First, in the context of my work here at the Heller School of Social Policy and Management, and specifically in the Sustainable International Development Graduate Program in which I teach, I have developed expertise in adult education, and specifically in the teaching of basic scientific literacy to adults from an unusually broad range of educational, cultural, and language backgrounds. It is a unique challenge to do this in a way that does not stifle those with strong English skills and a ready grasp of scientific concepts, while also not losing those students that find many of these ideas completely foreign. Some of the topics I can now effectively teach in this way are: mechanisms accounting for global atmospheric circulation and climate; the key factors accounting for Earth¿s accelerating climate change; the sources and maintenance of soil fertility; the pathways of nitrogen through atmosphere, soils, and waterways; the impacts of large power dams and irrigation schemes on river channels and floodplains; the causes and consequences of "dead zones" off the world's coastlines; the impacts of invasive species on natural and agricultural systems; how insularity and small population size affect genetic diversity and risk of extinction over time; and research on the concept of 'keystone species' with a particular focus on the dramatic case study of wolf reintroduction into Yellowstone National Park. Excellence in teaching such a breadth of topics demands a more integrative view than is found in the conventional graduate eductation of academic scientists, and requires (in my view) a natural predilection to stay current in a wide variety of environmental disciplines.
My presentations, handouts, and reading packets continue to evolve but all strive to allow adult learners with little to no scientific background quickly and confidently master those ecological concepts that lie at the core of sustainability of Earth's natural resources and environmental services.
Second, I have maintained a research focus on natural enemy, herbivorous insect, and host plant interactions. My most recent research in this area has taken place in the tropical dry forests of northwestern Costa Rica.
|EL||94a||Experiential Learning Practicum|
|HS||207f||Ecology of Health|
|HS||222f||Tourism and Development|
|HS||261a||Threats to Development: Climate Change|
|HS||264f||Principles of Ecology for Development Practitioners|
|HS||282f||Environmental Impact Assessment|
|HS||325f||The Right to Water|
Awards and Honors
Charles Johnson Maynard Award from the Newton Conservators (2013)
"Faith in Action" Award from Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light (2010)
Excellence in Teaching Award, Heller School for Social Policy and Management (2010)