Classes

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My classes emphasise personal discovery and team work where each class provides the opportunity for students to learn about sustainable actions and global environmental wellbeing. Classes that are also part of the Warner College Diversity and Inclusion Minor in Natural Resources are marked below with DEI. More information on the minor program is available through the WCNR Diversity and Inclusion sites.

Global Climate Justice (ESS365- Fall semester). This class explores environmental and climate justice issues from a local, regional and international perspective. Environmental justice has two elements--the environmental conditions that lead to a justice issue for a particular community. Those environmental conditions can be viewed as mechanisms of transport or air, land, water and biota. Pollutants traveling through air and water impact communities across international boundaries, often leading to human rights issues. Land-based issues can cross geographic scales from highly localised to international. Every one of these ecological mechanisms are important for understanding causes of environmental or climate justice issues that impact communities worldwide.

The Sustainability of Parks and Protected Areas: People, Parks and Places (ESS401-Fall semester). This senior level class explores the issues of sustainability of parks and protected areas with people and cultures. Separated into three distinct modules, students work on team projects on topics such as the founding of different National Park Units within the US with Module One. Untold stories and the cultural landscapes with parks form the foundation for Module Two. Historical events, cultural connections and current populations form stories around parks and protected areas yet often these stories are not highlighted within the management of the park itself. The final module moves to international protected areas, mostly World Heritage Sites and explores the foundations and connections between culture and places at the international level. Throughout the course, students work in small dynamic teams that explore original data on parks and protected areas and the people associated with those lands.

Global Environmental Policy (ESS400-spring semesters). This senior level class is focused on the Paris Agreement, The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the United Nations Environmental agreements and conventions. To understand conservation in the international space, the cultural context of each country needs to be incorporated. Students are assigned to different countries all over the world and for the semester, they research environmental and cultural data in the context of a countries position on sustainable development or on climate change actions. This class presents their findings each year for Earth Day as a part of a global virtual conference, hosted mainly by University of Derby in the United Kingdom and with other institutions around the world.

Global Environmental Negotiations (ESS505- Fall semesters with associated study abroad credit opportunity to attend international conference). The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) meets every year in the fall. During the meeting, countries negotiation different environmental agreements specific to the UNFCCC including the Paris Agreement. This graduate-level class is is jointly taught with Michigan Technological University, Indiana University, Monash University (Australia), University of Derby, Moravian College, Boston University, University of Connecticut and Vanderbilt University. Students work on different Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in multi-institutional teams with the goal of presenting their research at the COP later in the semester. This fast paced class moves to meet UN targets and submissions so students can attend the actual COP (international locations change every year) either virtually or in person.

Field Practicum (ESS486-Summer). This field based course is designed to teach students how to use citizen science databases in the field to address research questions. The class focuses on parks and protected areas using a leave no trace and do no harm philosophy of data collection. Students learn taxonomic skills in the field and design their own research questions for a fast paced data collection effort in a park. The locations of the field practicum shift between Yellowstone, Grand Tetons National Parks, Colorado National Monument and associated national forests and Bureau of Land Management areas.