teaching

Rainbow Beach Dunes, Chicago, IL

I teach undergraduates at University of Chicago in the Program on the Global Environment. Our courses are offered through the Environmental and Urban Studies major.

In my courses, and in all the informal teaching and mentoring I do, I encourage students to reflect deeply on the way they understand the world and their inherent bias and assumptions. I am lucky to work with students who take this task seriously and have the ability to make real change in the world.

I am invested in student success. I strive to facilitate an inclusive comfortable classroom environment that supports various types of learning. I expect students will learn from each other. I know I will learn from students. I have high expectations for students to engage in coursework and take control of their own learning.

If you a student interested in engaging with our environment in positive ways, here are some considerations for preparation you can do in college. Both scientists and non-scientists benefit from understanding: basic earth and biological sciences; what comprises the research enterprise in North America; where their idea of nature formed and whether it needs to be reexamined; the recent roots of colonial Western science and European ecological imperialism; denial of other forms of knowing; capitalism's role in natural resource exploitation and multiple environmental crises; environmental justice; how to make cities better for humans and non-humans; how to form a robust and well-supported argument; how to write concisely; how to translate scientific concepts and evidence to a general audience; how to talk to people and find common ground. These ideas all feature prominently throughout my teaching.

Courses I teach regularly

ENST 21201 // human impact on the global environment

ENST 21440 // (re)constructing nature: restoration ecology in a time of climate change

ENST 21301 // making the natural world

ENST 23550 // urban ecology

ENST 24550 // urban ecology in the great nearby

ENST 25460 // environmental effects on human health

ENST 22300 // South Side ecologies [project-based class that varies in each offering. only in odd-numbered years.]

ENST 27325 // urban ecology in the calumet [part of the Chicago Studies Quarter: Calumet. only in even-numbered years.]

fall 2021: urban ecology in the great nearby

fall 2021: human impact on the global environment

winter 2022: environmental effects on human health

winter 2022: making the natural world

spring 2022: human impact on the global environment

spring 2022: calumet ecology

Facilitating future success for students is the most meaningful part of my job. You can hear me say any day of the week and twice on Sunday how grateful I am to work with students who are going to have a profound impact on the future of the environment in which we will live. Generations of humans will have them to thank for a better world. So I have high expectations for the students I teach. I might not be able to save the world, but they sure will, and I've got some experience and tools, resources, and networks to share so students don't have to reinvent the wheel or miss the hidden curriculum and can get to work.

Letters of recommendation/acting as a reference

If you are an undergrad who has completed at least one of my courses and distinguished yourself, or we've worked together closely in other situations, I will probably be delighted to act as a reference for you. Please review the guidelines about the materials I need from you to write a good letter.