Since arriving at Purdue, I’ve taught courses in Wildlife Ecology, Ecology and Systematics of Fish and Mammals (mammal portion), Mammalogy, Vertebrate Population Dynamics, the Natural Resources Practicum, seminars in Conservation Biology, Introduction to Forestry and Natural Resources, Quantitative Methods for Ecologists, and Statistics for Natural Resources, along with other numerous special problems courses. I focus on enhancing critical thinking and problem-solving skills among students. I’ve used panel discussions, team research projects, oral presentations, peer review of scientific reports, and promotion of extracurricular learning experiences to improve students’ ability to communicate and to think critically and analytically.
I strive to foster an academic atmosphere that is conducive to learning by graduate and undergraduate students. As past chair of the department’s graduate committee, I take an active role in mentoring graduate students, created a peer mentoring program to ease the transition of new students into life at Purdue, and authored a best practices guide for mentors.
I firmly believe that providing students with research experiences as undergraduates is an effective means of developing the problem-solving capabilities and team-building skills required of natural resource professionals. I have advised or co-advised about 25 undergraduate students on independent research projects and employed >100 as research assistants. Of these, at least 20 have continued their studies in graduate school.
I enjoy getting together with students in informal settings, whether over lunch, in the gym, on a golf course, or at a local pub.