In my teaching on the complex relationships between people and their environments, I strive to balance empirical research with theoretical concepts, to broaden students’ skill sets through creative projects, and to enrich their understanding through experiential learning. Regardless of the course, my students engage with diverse materials (research articles, films, news media, policy reports) to interrogate issues from multiple perspectives. Student projects have included documentaries and research proposals, while my field trips have taken students to see timber production and mineral extraction sites in central PA, to meet with environmental policy researchers at the World Resources Institute in DC, and to examine urban water governance systems with Philadelphia Water.
This fall (2017), I am teaching Capitalism, Labor, and the Environment. This upper-level undergraduate seminar invites students to examine how our capitalist political economy mediates the relationship between human labor and the non-built environment. Students will conduct case studies of extractive industries to interrogate the ways that we sustain ourselves through our work and our consumption of natural resources.
Next spring (2018), I’ll be offering a course on The Politics of Water, a graduate seminar that surveys major debates about water governance at multiple scales. Through primary journal articles and popular news pieces, students critically examine the political dimensions of a range of issues, including water as a human right, the privatization and commodification of water, international hydropolitics, and human vulnerability to water hazards.
I also offer Climate Change and Security, a graduate seminar that examines the complex relationships between climate change and security. Primary research articles and policy reports help students parse claims about linkages between such critical issues as drought and armed violence, sea level rise and human displacement, and sea ice melting and energy production, among others.