GEOG 405 Geography Field Course: Watershed Science & Management
in the Coastal Pacific Northwest
I have recently developed a new field course, based in the Pacific Northwest (Squamish, BC). It was first offered in summer 2018 and, going forward, it is anticipated to be offered in alternate years or annually, depending on demand. I co-teach this course with Prof. Jim Best (UIUC Geography/Geology).
The course is interdisciplinary and integrates aspects of geomorphology, hydrology, sedimentology, ecology, and watershed management. It enables students to learn and develop practical skills through hands-on experience of designing and executing a research project, collecting data using cutting-edge equipment, analyzing data, and writing a technical report.
GEOG 459 Ecohydraulics:
Integrating Physical & Ecological Processes in Running Waters
I currently teach a course in Ecohydraulics (broadly understood, since it also covers topics that fall into the discipline of ecogeomorphology and river restoration). I co-teach it with Dr. Rafael Tinoco (Civil and Environmental Engineering).
This interdisciplinary course brings together students from various academic units/programs. It has two key components: lectures and research projects. Working in small groups of 3-5 members, students can choose to design and execute (under supervision of the instructors) a research project which addresses any of the topics covered in the course. Students are also free to choose between laboratory experiments (facilities: Hydrosystems Lab and Ecohydraulics and Ecomorphodynamics Lab), field work, mathematical modeling, or any combination of the above.
GEOG 103 Earth's Physical Systems
I also teach an introductory-level physical geography course. It involves lectures and labs in which students can test their practical knowledge of the subject.
The course covers fundamental topics from geology, geomorphology, and hydrology. However, I link these topics extensively to environmental science and management issues (e.g. conservation, restoration, natural hazard assessment, etc). My goal in this course is to help students develop a basic understanding how Earth's physical systems operate but also how humans may alter these processes and how these processes can affect human societies.
A Perfect "Classroom"
Natural History Building
GEOG 220 Landscapes, Ecosystems,
& Environmental Change:
Science and Management
This new course integrates basic concepts from a wide range of disciplines, including physical geography (geomorphology, hydrology), ecology, environmental management, conservation and restoration ecology, and environmental studies.
The main objective of this course is to equip students with an understand of how science can guide sustainable management of landscapes and associated ecosystems in the era of rapid environmental change. It combined traditional lectures and discussions with small-group projects., which enable students to explore topics related to conservation, restoration, and natural hazards. We will survey a wide range of environments, including mountains, forest, rivers, and coastal zone and develop an understanding of how they have been transformed by changing climate and land use.