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The following is a list of my recent course offerings at UMWestern. You can also visit the Environmental Sciences Dept. website and the university Catalog for the most current information about course availability

GEO 103: Introduction to Environmental Geology

Course Description:

This course explores the human impact on the Earth and its resources. Topics include population growth, urban development, and land-use planning, environmental policy, water pollution, air pollution, acid rain, climate modeling, global warming, waste disposal, soil erosion, energy resources, geological hazards, and the environmental impact of resource extraction and use. Prereq: equivalent of M 095 or higher. Gen Ed: Nat Sci.  


CHMY 121: Intro to General Chemistry

Course Description:

Chemistry 121 is an introduction to the basic content of chemistry for non-science majors (it is not a teaching methods class). The focus is on the practical significance of the fundamental concepts of chemistry within the context of societal, political, environmental, and economic issues that impact our world. A primary goal is to be able to relate basic chemical principles to everyday life.  Students participate individually and in groups through written and oral assignments. The laboratory exercises provide hands-on, inquiry-based experiences with chemical phenomena. This course also provides a scientific basis from which to assess arguments that will be part of the background of your lives. There is a field component in the lab work (see below), which will contribute to a long-term service-learning research project. 


GEO 230: Geology of the American West

Course Description:

Geologic evolution of the West, from its most ancient beginnings to modern processes that are still shaping it. The course offers opportunities to practice field and lab techniques for hand-sample identification of rocks and mineral; use maps and field observations to recognize geologic structures; and observe geomorphic processes shaping the Western landscape. Students successfully completing the course will demonstrate an integrated understanding of the topic in field activities, small group work, labs, and written and oral research presentations.  

GEO 210: Weather and Climate

Course Description:

Weather and larger-scale shifts in climate are responsible for floods, droughts, violent storms, and temperature extremes and directly impact human lives and alter landscapes across the plant. In this course, we will explore how atmospheric circulation drives daily weather patterns, how ocean circulation impacts annual precipitation and temperature, and how Earth’s orbit, atmospheric composition and the position of the continents influence climate through geologic time. Through hands-on work, students will learn to read weather maps, collect meteorological data, understand local weather patterns and work with long-term climate data. The course includes experiential field and laboratory projects, including a service-learning research project. Prereq: equivalent of M095 or higher. Gen Ed: Nat Sci.


GEO 374: Carbon Cycle and Climate

Course Description:

This course will introduce you to the fundamentals of the carbon cycle. You will learn how the carbon cycle, climate and the abiotic and biotic components of the environment influence each other. You will learn how carbon moves throughout the different components of the carbon cycle and where carbon is stored in the Earth's system. Using case studies, NASA visualizations, current research, online interactives, and field data, you will explore how living things on land, in soils, and in our oceans, regulate the carbon cycle. Because carbon, climate, and the environment are tightly coupled, you will analyze the effect of carbon dioxide on the Earth's thermostat and our climate. Finally, you will seek possible solutions to a warming climate. Prereq: the equivalent of M095 or higher, 100-level GEO or ENVS, GEO 291 Weather & Climate


ENSC 394: PolarPASS: Polar Places and Spaces

Course Description:

Earth's polar environments have undergone rapid change during the 21st century and scientists have generated important new data and made groundbreaking insights. Despite growing interest to bring polar-focused material into the undergraduate classroom, curriculum developed has lagged. Polar Space and Places, or PolarPASS, is connecting polar-focused material with innovative teaching methods to advance STEM undergraduate education and increase polar knowledge. Using real data, diverse material types, and a range of activities, PolarPASS modules are designed to bring polar science and exploration to the classroom. PolarPASS modules link to Climate Literacy Principles and Polar Literacy Principles and are being tested in teaching models that include semester, quarter, and block teaching models. PolarPASS is developed by a team of educators and scientists at Western Washington University, the University of Montana Western, and the National Snow and Ice Data Center and Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. During the initial development of PolarPASS materials, the team is testing the efficacy of different teaching activities in developing student sense of place.


GEO 431: Environmental Geochemistry

Course Description:

Students will examine and learn about the chemical and geological principles and reactions in natural systems, with some emphasis on surface-water chemistry and the use of stable and unstable isotopes in environmental geochemistry. This is a field- and laboratory-oriented class, with computer analysis of data.  Students successfully completing the class will demonstrate their knowledge of geochemical sampling and analysis techniques in one or more research projects.  Students will evaluate their own and published data according to concepts studied in the class and present their research in papers and/or posters and oral reports. Class will usually include exams and multi-disciplinary teamwork and may have a service-learning component. Prereq: equivalent of M095 or higher, 100-level GEO or ENVS, CHMY 121 or 141, GEO 291, GEO 374

Other courses taught previously include:

  • HONR 193F Iceland and Climate Change: Geological, Ecological, & Sustainability Investigations

  • HONR 194 Water in the West: Science & Society

  • NRSM 441 Sustainable Natural Resource Management

  • GEO 226 Rocks, Minerals, & Resources

  • ESS 201 The Earth System and Climate (at Univ. of Washington)

  • EV 128 Introduction to Global Climate Change (at Colorado College)

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