My instructional efforts reflect the philosophies and practices of several luminaries in higher education. These include, for example, John Dewey, Parker Palmer, Stephen Brookings, James Wilkinson, Kenneth Ebel, Nel Noddings, Ken Bain, and Derrick Jensen. My teaching also has been influenced by the philosophical musings of several scholars, notably including Socrates, Plato, Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Popper, Richard Dawkins, E.O. Wilson, and Steven Weinberg.
Some of my thoughts about teaching and learning are revealed in the book Letters to a Young Academic.
My classroom instructional efforts are subject-focused, rather than teacher- or learner-focused. Contributions are welcome and expected from every participant in each class.
During my last several years at the University of Arizona, I offered a colloquium through the Honors College each fall semester, Sustainable Living: Ecology and the Human Experience. I offered independent study credits regularly; my final semester at Arizona included 10 students studying 9 different topics. Until very recently, I taught a senior/graduate-level course every spring semester, Wildland Vegetation Management (RAM 446/546). But I expected students to ponder politically incorrect information in the class, so after the 2006 offering I was banned from teaching it, along with all other courses in my home department (as a result, the course website is no longer maintained). I formerly taught a senior/graduate-level course, Conservation Biology (EEB 406/506), a senior/graduate-lavel course in Fire Ecology (no website), and a graduate-level course, Advanced Applied Plant Ecology (RNR 555) (these websites are no longer maintained). Also until recently, I offered a graduate seminar approximately every year (usually RNR 696a). Recent seminar topics included new technologies in applied plant ecology, linking science and management, research experimental design, biological invasions, and conservation via the National Natural Landmarks program. During a 2003-2004 sabbatical leave, I taught a short course titled Linking Environmental Protection and the Human Economy at Grinnell College (this website is no longer maintained).
Education is not a preparation for life. Education is life itself. (John Dewey)