What is the most important thing a professor can offer her student? My answer is: a sense of purpose in a collective.
My approach to teaching has shifted over the years. I began teaching college students in 2003. As a TA at UT-Austin, I had my first experience teaching college students in a Philosophy of Human Nature course. I gained my love of teaching as a summer teacher for a program in New Hampshire for high school seniors from Thailand who were coming to the U.S. for college. Since then, I TA’ed classes in graduate school in both composition and environmental studies. I had the unique opportunity to be sole instructor of self-designed courses in graduate school on topics such as environmental justice, environmental literature, and environmental history.
Recently, however, I am increasingly designing my courses around the affective trajectory I want students to undergo, rather than focusing on content I want them to know. For example, instead of designing units around themes like “feminist science studies” or “environmental media,” I now design classes that are mostly focused on affective issues, such as “empowerment,” “trauma,” “anxiety,” and “relationships.” To do this, I draw on contemplative pedagogy, feminist and trauma-informed pedagogy, and other strategies from social movement theory and liberatory philosophy, and have been building a new set of educational tools that take seriously the existential student learning outcomes of efficacy and sense of collectivity. An archive of some of this work can be found at NXTerra, a site I helped build with a network of UC-CSU faculty.
In my tenure-line posts, I have taught the following courses:
At Humboldt State University
- ENST 480: “Student Leadership Institute for Climate Resilience”
- GEOG 301: “International Environmental Issues and Globalization”
- E&C 610: “Environment and Community Master’s Student Proseminar”
- ENST 480/GEOG 473: A co-taught special topics course titled “Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Climate Change”
- GEOG 322: “Geography of California”
- ENST 120: “Introduction to Environmental Studies”
- ENST 195: “Topics in Nature/Culture”
- ENST 395: “Research and Analysis in Environmental Studies
- ENST 295: “Power/Privilege and the Environment”
- ENST 490: “Environmental Studies Capstone Experience”
Independent Studies at HSU
- Critical Animal Studies
- Latinx Environmentalisms
- Self-Care for Activists
At University of Alaska Southeast
- GEOG 101: “Local Places, Global Regions: Introduction to Geography”
- GEOG 312: “Humans and the Environment”
- ENGL 420: “Environmental Film”
- ENGL 418: A co-taught special topics course with Kevin Maier linked to hosting ASLE’s off-year symposium, titled “Environment, Culture, and Place in a Rapidly Changing North”
- ENGL 418: “Politics of the Body”
- ENGL 418: “Dirty Natures: Gender, Race, and Justice”
- ENGL 423: “Ecocriticism”
- ENGL 418: “Eco-Collapse: Fear, Disaster, and Nature in U.S. Culture”
- ENGL 111: “Methods of Written Communication”
- ENGL 110: “Introduction to College Writing”
Independent Studies at UAS
- HUM 490: “Filipina Cultural Studies.” (Spring 2013). Gloria Lumba.
- ENGL 490: “Environmental Cultural Studies.” (Fall 2012) Kahle Ess.
- HUM 690: “Identity and Place: Literature and Theory of Human Geography.”