My teaching philosophy is based on my experience as an educator and on my own time as a student. I love to share with other insights from the fields of climate, environmental, and earth sciences in creative and interactive ways. The role of the instructor is three-fold: as a facilitator of learning within the classroom, as a source of expertise regarding the subject at hand, and as a mentor for the ongoing generation of knowledge by students.
I also welcome the opportunity to give educational presentations on past climate change, oceanography, or geology. Contact me here.
Teaching at San Francisco State University
Our Dynamic Oceans – Spring 2014
At San Francisco State University (part of the CSU system of public universities) I taught general-education Oceanography. The class opened with the geological foundations of ocean basins, covered the chemical components of seawater, the physics of ocean circulation, and how the surface ocean interacts with global climate.
The hands-on lab component was an important part of the class. Here we performed lab experiments based on density, explored field exercises at nearby Pacific ocean beaches and cliffs, and analyzed numerical ocean/climate model output to enhance the classroom concepts.
Graduate work at UC Santa Cruz
Teaching Assistant positions:
Marine Geology – Fall 2011
Topics included controls on the types, origin, and distribution of marine sediments; geology of oceanic crust; evolution of continental margins and plate boundaries; paleoceanography. I led discussion sections, guided students in individual preparation of a scientific research proposal.
Oceanography – Winter 2011
Laboratory based on hands-on activities to explore the ocean’s physical environment including sea-floor bathymetry; ocean currents, waves, tides, changing sea level, beaches, marine resources, pollution, and human impacts. I held five discussion sections, facilitated laboratory demonstrations, assigned grades, and mentored students.
Groundwater – Winter 2010
Course included lab-, field-, and computer-based exercises exploring processes involving water on and near Earth’s surface, surface flow and runoff, flooding, meteorology, hydrology, and water quality. I held laboratory sections using physical demonstrations (i.e., falling head permeability tests) and numerical model exercises (using MODFLOW), led local field trips for students, and mentored students.
Field Geology – Summer 2009
Course covered tools and techniques used in geologic fieldwork, including field mapping, stratigraphy, petrology, and structure analysis. I evaluated student work and guided upper-level field geology students in Loma Prieta and other eastern California field areas in the Sierra, White, and Inyo mountains.
History of Life – Fall 2007, Fall 2008
Led multiple hands-on laboratory sections; topics included major events in the history of life, from the origin of life to evolution and extinctions, paleontology skills and techniques.
Undergraduate work at Carleton College:
Environmental Geology – Spring 2006
Course introduced aspects of the physical environment which affect and are affected by humans including resource management, hazards, local air and water issues, population, land use, and energy. I co-led laboratory sections and field trips.