I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in the Environmental Studies Program (ENVS) and am currently developing a new course to teach for the launch of the professional Masters of the Environment (MENV) degree. Recent and current courses focus on human interactions with the environment, specifically regarding food production and procurement, the conservation of biological diversity and ecosystem services, environmental sustainability, and environmental leadership. I offer brief descriptions of selected courses below; please contact me if you’d like to learn more about these courses and their content.

Foundations of Environmental Leadership (MENV 5001, Fall 2016)

Foundations of Environmental Leadership will engage and expose students to diverse leadership models and styles, and emphasize concepts and skills necessary for effective environmental leadership. We will explore and critically analyze approaches and tools for effective collaboration, creative communication with diverse stakeholders, facilitation of events and processes, negotiation, fiscal management, strategic planning, practicing design thinking, developing organizational structures, and leading social change. The course format will feature readings from primary literature and required texts, and will include small group discussions and presentations.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Create a personal leadership plan that embodies their identity and career goals
  2. Explain and compare diverse models of leadership
  3. Adopt effective forms of written and oral communication
  4. Analyze and explain financial reports
  5. Design and implement a collaboration or partnership

Policy, Science, and the Environment (ENVS 5000, Fall 2015)

Environmental studies is an interdisciplinary field that integrates policy, science, and human values. In this course we will take a comprehensive look at environmental aspects of food production and procurement. We will critically examine how the structure of food systems and consumer food choices may influence Earth’s ability to sustain society into the future. We will consider topics such as industrial agriculture, locally versus organically grown food, fisheries and aquaculture, bushmeat hunting, crop genetic diversity and genetic modification, pollination services, urban community gardens, food waste, food deserts, food miles, and connections among alternative energy and crop production. The course format will feature readings from primary literature and required texts, and will include small group discussions and presentations.

Introduction to Sustainability (SUST 2800, Fall 2015)

This course explores the broad topic of sustainability across a range of scales: personal, residence hall, CU, community, global. There are divergent perspectives on how to define sustainability and what course sustainable development should take. We will look critically at a diverse arena of ideas, theories and practices around sustainability. We will examine these practices as part of larger socio-ecological systems and look at how they fit within visions for a more sustainable future. Some of the questions we will discuss are: What does it mean to “be sustainable?” How do different approaches to sustainability depend on worldview and ideology?  Is there a link between social justice and sustainability? What are the roles of structure (e.g. the economy and the built environment) and agency (i.e. free will) in developing sustainable practices?  How might individuals and society envision more a more sustainable future?

Conservation Biology (EBIO/ENVS 3040, Fall 2013)

Conservation biology is ultimately about sustainable interactions between humans and the environment. It involves the study and application of scientific principles to the protection and management of Earth’s biological diversity and ecosystem services. Conservation biology is an integrative discipline in that it combines such disparate fields as genetics, ecology, anthropology, sociology, economics, and ethics. This course primarily emphasizes the biological and ecological principles that underlie the genesis, maintenance and loss of biological diversity and ecosystem services. However, these are viewed and discussed in the context of human values, economics, and policies.

This course is designed to be highly participatory, with students being actively involved in the selection of topics to be covered and in discussions of the current issues and controversies in the field. Some examples of questions currently addressed by researchers in conservation biology include: What is the impact of roads on species diversity in wilderness areas? How does deforestation affect emergence of malaria in tropical forests? Which regions on Earth are the high priority areas for conservation? How does salmon farming affect native salmon? How are nature reserves influenced by adjacent human activities?