Teaching

Statistical Modelling in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEEB G5010)

This course teaches students the practice of modern statistical methods to enhance their own research through a combination of lectures, evaluations of scientific literature, and application of techniques to real data. By the end of the course students have (1) acquired a broad understanding of the philosophical and statistical issues underlying scientific inference; (2) gained quantitative confidence in the use of models; (3) acquired a good understanding of the use and limitations of likelihood and Bayesian methods; and (4) developed skill in the use of some of the software tools (e.g., statistical software R, JAGS) they will need to apply statistical modelling to their research.


Landscape Ecology (EEEB W4160)

Landscape ecology examines the development, causes and attributes of spatial patterns of landscapes and their implications for ecological processes. It covers the conceptual underpinnings of landscape ecology and introduces students to some of the tools used to analyze the structure and dynamics of landscapes. By the end of this course students will be familiar with key concepts in landscape ecology and their application to current questions and issues in the field. They will come away with a good understanding of scale, environmental heterogeneity, and how these interact with ecological processes at levels of organization from population, to community, to ecosystem processes. Students will also learn how these factors can be incorporated into landscape management and sustainability plans.


Doctoral Thesis Development Seminar (EEB 4990)

This course is designed to engage students in research early in their academic careers and teach them the necessary skills to be effective and independent researchers. The course will focus on acquisition of the following skills:1) Synthesize scientific literature and understand the “big picture” of science; 2) Develop research and dissertation proposals; 3) Critique scientific ideas (written and oral critique);4) Discuss research with peers and give both formal and informal scientific talks.


Land Use Transitions in the Tropics (EEB G6150)

This is a graduate level seminar focused on exposing students to novel interdisciplinary research. The goal of this course is to enhance knowledge and skills needed for carrying out applied and interdisciplinary research on topics related to ecology and sustainability science.  In order to encourage the cross-fertilization of ideas across conventional disciplinary boundaries, the course is co-taught by faculty members from the natural and social sciences.


Scaling in Ecology and Sustainability Science (EEB G6150)

An overview of physical, biological, and political approaches to scaling ecological processes and the sustainability of the ecosystem services they provide, and how interdisciplinary methods could contribute to the understanding of such relationships. Students develop and complete a group project aimed at publication. (co-taught with Ruth DeFries)


Fundamentals of Ecology and Evolution (EEEB 4122)

An overview of the major questions in Ecology and Evolution. (co-taught with Joel Cracraft)


Sustainability Science: Interactions between Human and Environmental Systems

A Distributed Seminar among Harvard, Univ. Minnesota, Columbia, and Arizona State University. This is a research seminar on the core theories of sustainability science — an emerging field of problem-driven research dealing with the interactions between human and environmental systems. The problem that motivates the course, and the field, is the challenge of sustainability: improving the wellbeing of present and future generations in ways that conserve the planet’s life support systems over the long term. The goal of the seminar is to introduce researchers interested in sustainability science to the field’s principle themes, cutting-edge findings, active debates and unresolved research questions. To this end, participants will critically discuss a set of presentations and papers covering the field in a systematic way, drawing on and integrating contemporary research from earth systems science, resource economics, institutional analysis, ecology, geography, development studies, health sciences and engineering.

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