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Teaching Philosophy

In my courses, I take advantage of the inspiration that nature provides and use it to teach the processes that control the evolution of the Earth surface, its inhabitants, and the role that we, Earth scientists, have in promoting environmental sustainability and justice. I view students as unique people with prior experiences, backgrounds, relevant and transferrable knowledges and skills, and stewards of their own learning.      

The urgent pursuit of sustainability is paralleled by an equally urgent need for accessible, open-source science. This is a doorway to teach investigative and quantitative methods motivated by exciting scientific questions, stimulating students to tackle socially relevant, cutting-edge topics. In my courses, I develop engaging, learner-centered classes by teaching students to collect and apply analysis of real and synthetic data. 

Courses I currently teach

1 / Methods in Geosciences

I teach the basis of geologic note-taking in the field, using the compass (pocket traveler) for locating oneself in the field, triangulation, geologic data collection, etc. This is a hands-on course where students collect foliation and glacial striation data in the field and use the data in the laboratory to conduct basic analysis and identify spatial trends.

2 / Internal Earth Processes

I teach the processes that originate and take place in the interior of the Earth and how the impact the evolution of the Earth's crust, its rocks, and its surface. In this course, students learn about geodynamics, tectonics, structural geology, stereonets, mountain building, rock deformation, and landscape evolution.

3 / Field Geology

I teach students how to become independent geologists in the field. They learn how to collect geology data, conduct geologic mapping, use the compass to measure structural features (including deformation kinematics, sense of shear), take detailed notes, take publishable field photos, and write detailed field reports.

4 / Quantitative Geomorphology

I teach students about the basic and advanced physical and empirical models that help us interpret topographic forms in tectonically active and inactive landscapes. I use principles of process geomorphology and tectonic geomorphology and teach students to use advanced computational tools of topographic analysis, including GIS, Topotoolbox, Topographic Analysis Kit, etc. I also introduce numerical modeling of landscape evolution using LandLab to help the students to solidify concepts and create basic intuition for how to "read" topography.

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