Mentorship and Graduate Training

I am passionate about teaching and love working with students to explore, understand, and ultimately, change and transform human-environment relations. I encourage you to contact me if you are interested in work together as part of Colorado University's Master of Arts in Applied Geography & Geospatial Science or the PhD program in Geography, Planning, & Design. My research touches on many domains and I mentor students with diverse interests (e.g. critical physical geography/human-environment geography, political ecology, critical agrarian/development studies, interdisciplinary/mixed-methods research, land relations and change). I feel particularly well-suited as a mentor to students interested in methodologically integrative and/or interdisciplinary approaches to understanding human-environmental change.

Undergraduate and (Semi)-Online Course Offerings

Geography, Environment, & Society

This course engages with concepts and case material from human-environment geography, including perspectives on population and scarcity, markets and commodities, institutions and “the commons,” political economy, social construction, and risks and hazards. How do such perspectives facilitate an analysis of human-environment relations, change, and conflict, and what are the relative strengths and limitations of these different analytical paradigms? We will explore these questions through diverse classroom activities, from a town hall exploring prospects for predator reintroduction to a debate over climate policy futures to a forum on managing sea level rise in Hawai’i. Throughout we also focus on understanding the ways “social” dynamics (power, knowledge, identity, etc.) are implicated in “environmental” concerns, and vice versa.

Contemporary Environmental Debates

Few would dispute that environmental protection is important and desirable, yet environmental and resource issues are deeply contentious. We argue over whether environmental problems are actually problems, what the origins and consequences of such issues are, and what, if anything, can or should be done. Our focus in this class is to critically examine and engage with important and ongoing environment and resource controversies. This involves understanding not only the technical and scientific dimensions of these controversies but the social relations of resource production, use and governance that give rise to them. Together we will explore the claims and counter-claims that animate particular debates, the dynamics of power and authority that affect whose ideas are given priority, and questions of justice. Who actually suffers the effects of agri-chemical pollution, forest conversion, offshore drilling, and nuclear waste?

Globalization, Development, and the Environment

What is globalization? Is it a force, a process, a set of practices, an idea? Current debates surrounding globalization point to the contradictions at the heart of globalized processes and relations: wealth, poverty, environmental protection, collapse, and profound inequity and injustice. Uncertainty surrounding the term globalization also reflects the competing ways ‘globalization’ is invoked to contest and support different political projects. Over the past 20 years, for instance, detractors of globalization have situated globalization as an agent of Western imperialism and global ecological destruction as well as a cause for economic nationalism and militarized borders. How do we make sense of these uncertain, shifting, and contested constructs and how do they relate to processes of development and environmental change? How can we imagine and enact more just globalized futures?