As an educator, my career goal is to train the next generation of environmental social scientists and sustainability practitioners. I emphasize interdisciplinary training that is hands-on and cutting-edge. To me, teaching is more than just an academic chore; it requires dedicated scholarship to inspire critical thinking and produce ideas and solutions responsive to the emerging challenges faced by society. I apply this teaching philosophy in my classes by focusing on three key areas of the learner-centered education: 1) engaging students in research, 2) developing systems thinking, and 3) fostering critical analysis and communication skills. This approach has worked across a wide variety of classes that I have taught in the past, from Society and Sustainability to upper division the Social Dimensions of Climate Change.
I have been teaching at Arizona State University since 2010. I normally teach four different courses (about 150-300 students) in School of Sustainability. These sustainability classes draw upon my background in ecological and environmental anthropology and my post-doctoral research on land-use decision and urban dynamics. My challenge is to teach to a group of sustainability majors with a wide range of interests (e.g., ecology, policy, urban planning, economics and business sustainability, energy and materials). My approach always has been to sensitize these students in understanding the social dimensions of sustainability challenges.