This fall I am teaching "Environmental Science in a Changing World" at the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society. This ~100 person introductory environmental science course is one of the foundational courses for the Environmental Science concentration (major) at Brown.
Growing up in a rural town with two liberal arts colleges instilled in me an early respect of the role knowledge plays in enhancing our appreciation of our surroundings. I see studies in the earth and environmental sciences in particular, as a path to deeper connections with our community and environment. I hope to share my enthusiasm with everyone who takes a course with me, but recognize that some of my students will not continue on to become earth scientists, or even pursue careers in science. Major, minor or just there to fulfill a science requirement, all students will engage in our democracy and make decisions about environmental issues, necessitating a basic understanding of scientific knowledge and how it is evaluated. Accordingly, my teaching philosophy is grounded in the idea that a course should not only cover content, but also seek to improve students’ abilities to access and interpret scientific information, interrogate ideas and communicate on multiple levels.