As a scientist and teacher, I strive to instill in students a robust understanding of the natural world in which we live and of which we are part. I endeavor to produce scientifically literate citizens capable of thinking critically about a wide range of ideas. My own training has been highly interdisciplinary and I encourage students to evaluate ideas from multiple perspectives and to build as many connections to other concepts as possible.
FNR 210: Natural Resource Information Management
Semester: Spring, all years
Introduction to analysis and management of natural resources data with special emphasis on geographic information systems (GIS) and applications in ArcGIS Pro. Lectures focus on exploring the fundamental principles of cartography, GIS, coordinate systems, projections, and methods of representing spatial data. Students will complete homework exercises and lab projects with the goal of achieving proficiency in essential GIS techniques as applied to a variety of natural resources-based topics including Urban Ecology, Forest Biology, Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, and Wildlife Science. All students will complete an independent project on a natural-resources topic of their choosing. All aspects of the course will emphasize development of the independent critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are essential to achieving eventual mastery of GIS.
FNR 598: Urban Ecology
Semester: Fall, all years
Urbanization is on the rise, transforming natural ecosystems into coupled human-natural ecosystems that encompass complex, novel functional and structural characteristics shaped by people and the inherent environment. Through local field trips and readings of the primary scientific literature, we examine the unique characteristics of coupled human-natural ecosystems.
This course covers fundamental principles of ecology as applied in urban and other coupled human-natural systems with emphasis on the impact of modern industrial society on ecosystem structure and function. The course is designed to be broadly accessible to students from a variety of backgrounds, interests, and majors who are interested in environmental science and engineering and emphasizes the importance of incorporating an ecological perspective in environmental engineering and natural resource management. Organizing themes addressed in this class include macroscale processes, systems thinking, and topics related to urban systems.