Courses

Current courses:

Survival Skills for Finishing Doctoral Students

This course is aimed at preparing advanced doctoral students for successful and rewarding careers in ecology and environmental science. In this course, students will learn about academic and non-academic careers from readings and presentations from scientists in those positions. Students will identify important steps toward planning and launching their career-paths, and skills for being effective in these positions. Students will develop their own career plan, curriculum vitae, teaching and research plans, and critiques of professional web pages.  Finally, the course will expose students to resources and opportunities for applying and polishing skills beyond this course.  

Ecology of Global Drylands

This course will explore the controls on the geographic distribution, community and ecosystem structure, and the functioning of drylands globally. We will use lectures, writing, and student-led discussions to investigate the distribution, structure and functioning of drylands.

Selected Past courses: 

Environmental Policy in the European Union

This course used a spring break trip to Tenerife in the Canary Islands to augment a semester-long exploration of environmental policy-making in the European Union. On campus, we used lectures, readings, discussions, and writing to explore the methods and tools sanctioned by the European Union for analysis of environmental impacts by the member states. This course also explored how the tools of environmental impact analysis inform policy and decision making. 

Ecosystem Ecology:

This course included lecture, field, and laboratory components. We explored the ecosystem concept, elements of ecosystem structure (biota, soils, climate, element storage) and ecosystem processes (net primary production, nutrient cycling, net ecosystem production, energy and water exchange, trophic dynamics).  The course focused a great deal on species-ecosystems interactions, ecosystem comparisons, and global cycles.  

Comparative Rangelands of North and South America

In this course, we studied the climate, vegetation, land management, and cultural features of rangelands in North and South America. We spent the fall semester with lectures and discussing readings, including learning about all the forces of change in land management on both continents.  During the winter break, we took a 2 week trip to Patagonia (2014) and Tierra del Fuego (2016), visiting sheep ranches and nature reserves, studying grazing management practices, recent changes in land management due to economic and cultural changes, wildlife habitat and dynamics in the face of development and climate change, and more.