Honors and Awards for teaching and outreach
2015–2018: Honored Instructor, selected by students 4 times click here
2018–2020: Faculty co-chair of the UW–Madison Teaching Academy (two terms 2013–2015 and 2018–2020)
2014–2015: Fulbright Award for Sabbatical Teaching / Research (Sweden)
2012: Fulbright Senior Specialist for teaching (Chile)
2010: Fulbright Senior Specialist for teaching (Ecuador)
2010–present: Teaching Academy Fellow for UW–Madison
2004–2018 Keynote speaker or panelist at 14 meetings
2017: Winner of the Clements Prize for Outstanding Research & Education
2018: Nominated for the Indianapolis Prize for Conservation
2010: Award for Best monitoring & evaluation methods, Rainforest Alliance Eco
Service-learning and field practica
Reports in my students' own words from their own hard work in the field:
The mission of the UW-Madison Lakeshore Nature Preserve. The Preserve permanently protects the undeveloped lands along the shore of Lake Mendota where members of the campus community have long experienced the intellectual and aesthetic benefits of interacting with the natural world. The Preserve shelters biologically significant plant and animal communities for teaching, research, outreach, and environmentally sensitive use, and safeguards beloved cultural landscapes. It contributes to a powerful sense of place and fosters an ethic of stewardship to promote mutually beneficial relationships between humans and the rest of nature.
Click on blue font titles to download a recent syllabus
Course description: The goals of this course are to understand the theory and practice the skills of effective, scientific, ethical, and legitimate preservation of nature (biodiversity, the atmosphere, water, etc.). Successful students will learn from global lessons in how to intervene against threats to nature, and the roles of ethics, law, and research in preserving nature. Students will gain mastery of terminology and usage so as to communicate professionally about nature preservation. Expected Learning outcomes
Demonstrate understanding of the environmental provisions in national constitutions and U.S. co-sovereign federal-state-tribal governance as these relate to environmental protection.
Display mastery of the fundamentals of biodiversity and the atmosphere, and what human activities threaten extinction, climate change, and water quality.
Summarize the ethical and legal roles - of the public, civil society activist organizations, legislatures, executive branches, the judiciary, and public scholars - in preserving and impairing nature.
Communicate professionally about effective conservation practice and scientific integrity.
See above for the products of this course.
Overview: This FIG is designed for students interested in ecology and human attitudes, behavior, and social norms relating to nature. Our topic is necessarily integrative and will include scholarship on human cognition and behavior as well as cultural and social norms as they relate to the biology and ecology of three species that attract great interest and affection.
Service-learning component: This course will include a service-learning component in the Lakeshore Nature Preserve on campus. Students will continue an on-going program of annual data collection and interaction with Preserve managers. Collect data on the priority issues of the Lakeshore Preserve managers, e.g., (a) free-running dogs off-leash and (b) coyote recolonization and the occasional concern of community members about these predators. FIG students engage with the managers to understand and address the human perceptions and enforcement of rules for unleashed dogs. Students will report the results of their service-learning projects to the Preserve managers and Eagle Heights community leaders in oral and written reports. Build a sense of personal and professional responsibility towards your campus community and the natural environment around you.
Course Philosophy: One of the goals of this course is to prepare you to be successful in your chosen profession upon graduation. To achieve this, the projects and class structure are modeled after the environment in which you may work; think of your fellow students as co-workers. To be successful, it is critical that you actively contribute to your team and the class as a whole in a way that benefits the group and projects. This is also a student- led course. You are the innovators! The leaders! The instructor is here to act as your coach or facilitator--to guide you along the process--but the ideas and work comes from you. Our aim is to help you be as effective as possible, refine skills, and keep you moving in the right direction.
Course description and expectations: This course is aimed at first- and second-year students who are considering a natural science major and at older students majoring in other fields who want experience with an interdisciplinary course in the natural sciences. The primary goal of this course is to place ecological thought in an interdisciplinary framework that encompasses the ecology of humans as another unique species evolving and interacting within Earth's ecosystems. We focus on the biosphere (i.e., only superficial treatment of the ecology of water, energy, chemical cycling, inorganic substrates, etc.), and introduce major branches of ecology from community ecology and ecosystems to population ecology to behavioral ecology. In particular, we focus on global sustainability issues and conservation science. We use gray wolf recolonization of Wisconsin as a lens to examine conservation of ecosystems and endangered species worldwide. This course will provide students with a foundation in ecology. After completing this course students will be ready for more advanced work in ecology or ready to apply ecological principles to public policy debates as consumers, voters, and professionals. To integrate human behavior and ecology, and to fully understand ecosystem function and change, we will compare Wisconsin and U.S. ecosystems to ecosystems in several other countries using case studies and discussion sessions. This course has the following desired learning outcomes:
Develop a conceptual framework for understanding ecosystem process and pattern with humans integral to it.
Enhance your understanding of how humans interact with nonhuman ecosystem elements.
Explore how ecological science can help resolve modern environmental problems.
Integrate new ideas from international and interdisciplinary perspectives on the environment.
Increase interest in environmental studies and ecology.