I teach various subjects exploring the tangled causes and unequal consequences of environmental problems, the political relations that shape these problems, and the predicaments of those now seeking to address them. As a teacher, my goal is to enable students to not only comprehend the theories we grapple with in the classroom but also to forge connections that regularly engage these concepts with their own experiences and with the broader urgencies of the ecological transformations that now surround them.
To this end, my teaching emphasizes vigorous dialogue as a means of advancing student learning: dialogue with each other, dialogue with me, and dialogue with the wider worlds in which my students are implicated, locally and globally, personally and professionally. That includes challenging students to be mindful about their intentions as they define themselves as thinkers, as active participants in their communities, and as agents of social change in their own right facing important choices in their lives and careers. At the end of the day, I conceive of education as a process of personal and intellectual transformation whose rewards far exceed the acquisition of new knowledge or new skills. As an educator, I am committed to helping my students navigate the difficult work inherent to this process and steering them toward the vital experiences of insight, wonder, and empowerment I believe it makes uniquely possible.
This course serves as an introduction to the politics of conservation and environmental policy-making in the United States. The class is divided into four units. We will first take stock of the alarming environmental transformations currently in motion and consider divergent perspectives regarding the political implications. Next, we will look historically at the key actors,… Continue reading Environmental Policy
We live in a moment defined by environmental change. Yet the causes and consequences of these planetary transformations are profoundly uneven. Across race, class, gender and other forms of difference, “environmental problems” manifest in radically unequal ways, disproportionately burdening some while benefiting others. In this course, we will grapple with this central tension in debates… Continue reading Environmental Justice in the Anthropocene
This seminar will introduce you to the field of political ecology: as an eclectic body of scholarship for understanding nature-society relations; as a source of methods for studying these relations; and as a “way of seeing” which prompts us to critically examine the political causes and unequal consequences of environmental problems, the purported solutions to them,… Continue reading Global Political Ecology
In this course, we will tackle the question of social change. More specifically, we will: (1) analyze various organized efforts trying to make social change happen; and (2) troubleshoot their different methods, strategies, ways of operating, and sets of assumptions about how they think social change works. Through close analysis of these initiatives we will… Continue reading Theories of Change
We are frequently told we must “never give up hope.” But what is at stake in hoping? In this course we will interrogate this ubiquitous injunction to hope. We will analyze contemporary debates about the possibility of hope in the face of uncertain planetary futures to consider the affective politics of how, in what ways,… Continue reading The Politics of Hope
In 2018, I taught my program’s senior seminar: the capstone “community-engaged practicum” (ENVS 401) required by all our Environmental Studies majors and structured around group projects undertaken by students for our community partners. Under the supervision of myself and Diane Munroe, students worked with Energy Action Network (EAN), the Vermont Natural Resource Council (VNRC), Efficiency Vermont… Continue reading Community-Engaged Environmental Practicum