My teaching philosophy is guided by a scholarship of engagement, fostering skills and ideas so students become empathetically connected to and curious about environmental sustainability.  I do this by engaging students, building conceptual knowledge and practical skills, and taking care to be inclusive of backgrounds and learning styles.  I teach introductory, advanced, and graduate courses that range from 300- to 5-students, and have lectured for the Organization for Tropical Studies and Chinese National Academy of Sciences, and the School for International Training.  I have used two key ways to craft a productive learning environment: by creating experiential learning activities and integrating research projects into course curricula.


Experiential Learning

Engaged Learning Activities

I take great interest in making the classroom an inquiry-based learning environment, to experience topics via multiple senses and methods, and to facilitate peer interaction and education.  In smaller courses I accomplish this with hands-on labs (e.g., exploring forest succession in Ethnobotany), and in larger classes with team-based learning (Intro to Anth).  I design assignments in which students apply class to environmental issues, such as developing campus sustainability grant proposals (Green Culture).  I work to make course material more diverse and inclusive, including revising syllabi and remaking my popular food course (Anth of Eating) into a multicultural one (Food, Environment, and Culture).   (Photo: Spring 2013 Ethnobotany students beginning their paper making lab.)


Research Projects

Research ProjectsI employ research projects for students to operationalize theory, employ mixed methods, and communicate science to multiple publics, such as making story maps with GIS on cultural and historical landscapes (Anth of Landscape) and carrying out community-based collaborative research with community members (Methods is Social Anth).  I frequently incorporate human subjects-approved research into courses, such as interviewing farmers or fishers about climate change (Ecology of Climate Change), developing films for a local environmental NGO (Visual Anth),  participant observation in a multicultural setting (Honors Intro to Anth), or studying ethnobotany and political ecology of pecans (Ethnobotany). (Photo: Spring 2013 Methods in Social Anthropology graduate students doing participation observation at the J & J Flea Market. Photo by J.DeMoss)


Graduate Courses

  • ANTH/PBIO6300 Ethnobotany (with lab)
  • ANTH6520 History of Social Theory
  • ANTH6620 Methods in Social Anthropology
  • ANTH6900 Anthropology of Landscape (with GIS lab)
  • ANTH8040 Dissertation Writing
  • ANTH8755 Runk Lab

Undergraduate Courses

  • ANTH1102 Introduction to Anthropology
  • ANTH2120H Introduction to Anthropology - Honors
  • ANTH2850 Food, Environment, and Culture
  • ANTH3541 Anthropology of Eating
  • ANTH/PBIO4300 Ethnobotany (with lab)
  • ANTH4400 Green Culture (with lab)
  • ANTH4900 Anthropology of Landscape (with GIS lab)