I teach in the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources undergraduate and graduate programs. See below for course descriptions.

Environmental Conflict Management (NRRT362- Spring)

Environmental conflict occurs at all levels of social organization, from local or regional disagreements about hydraulic fracturing, to national debates about endangered species, to global disputes about how to address climate change or biodiversity loss. This course focuses on the source and structure of environmental conflicts, and approaches for reaching resolution. This is a challenging, high-level course from which you gain the skills necessary to diagnose a given environmental conflict and apply different styles of managing it.  Students spend significant time in class role-playing in diverse environmental conflict and negotiation simulations to gain firsthand experience in applying course concepts and tools to real-world scenarios.

Environmental Governance (Undergraduate level: NRRT400- Fall); Conservation Policy, Finance, and Governance (Graduate Level: NR541-Fall)


NR541 students meeting with city officials in Ft. Collins for field-based learning about the extension of the Poudre River Trail (Fall 2013).

Environmental governance refers to the decision-making processes and rules that determine how we relate to one another and our shared environment. Governance is much broader than government. In the ‘new’ environmental governance, non-governmental organizations, businesses, communities, everyday citizens, international organizations, and governments are recognized as powerful actors in making and enforcing social rules.  These social rules may be formal laws or they be unwritten norms or social conventions. As students learn in this class, many forms of social rules – i.e., not only laws and regulations – are potentially transformative in the transition to sustainability.

Throughout the semester we will explore a wide range of environmental governance innovations in diverse contexts. We begin by focusing on the root causes of environmental problems themselves. What are the dilemmas that underwrite environmental problems, and why are these important to understand before we can move toward effective solutions? For the remainder of the course we draw on real world case studies to critically examine a variety of environmental governance approaches at local, national, and global scales. These are challenging courses from which students gain a conceptual toolkit for diagnosing environmental problems, evaluating potential solutions, and effecting change. More broadly, students will leave this class with an understanding and appreciation of the essential role for environmental governance in transitions to sustainability.

Marine Conservation Field Course in Palau, Duke University (Spring 2013 and 2014)


Duke student Nathalie Morison records catch data with Tino Kloulechad, a fisherman from Ngarchelong state in Palau, as part of a local fishery monitoring program developed by and for fishers (January 14, 2013).

I have developed and co-teach, with Dr. Lisa Campbell, an interdisciplinary course in marine conservation that brings graduate students to the tropical Western Pacific Island nation of Palau for experiential learning about the realities of conservation in a small island developing country context. Our inaugural class was taught in Spring 2013 and was offered again in Spring 2014. Most of the course is taught in Palau, where we meet traditional chiefs, fishers, state governors, NGO practitioners, scientists, and politicians to hear their perspectives on contemporary marine conservation in Palau.  We draw from the literature and the Palauan experience to think broadly about the interaction of contemporary and traditional conservation practices; the use of science and local knowledge in conservation; and the influence of local context and broad-scale processes, i.e. the Convention on Biological Diversity, on the design and implementation of conservation policy. You can read about our learning experiences from the perspective of our students on our course blog.