While at the Nicholas School, most of my teaching has been concentrated into two foundational courses and a more practical seminar. These courses are largely in support of our Master’s program in Environmental Management.
Landscape Ecology. Essentially all agencies that manage land now manage landscapes (although they use different language to say this). My landscape ecology course (ENVIRON714) aims to provide the conceptual foundations to support management at the landscape scale. An overview of the logic of the class—how I have taught it—is provided here (synopsis), while a topical outline is available here (syllabus). This class has served as the foundation of and motivation for my first book, Agents and implications of landscape pattern: working models for landscape ecology (see my book project).
Landscape Analysis and Management. By contrast to my more conceptual course (above), my second course (ENVIRON724) provides the tools of the trade: how to do the work of landscape ecology. This is a lab course, covering what I consider to be the fundamental tasks in landscape analysis and management. These tasks include sampling designs for inventory and monitoring, species distribution models, site prioritization, detecting and forecasting landscape change, and assessment of change resulting from natural processes (e.g., succession, disturbances) as well as management actions (e.g., restoration). The sequence of tasks is outlined here (synopsis), and the tasks are detailed here (syllabus). This course is the foundation of my second book, Landscape ecology: a task-oriented perspective (see my book project).
Land Conservation in Practice. This course is a seminar, a practicum on the actual work of land conservation. The emphasis is on conservation nonprofits, especially local land trusts. The seminar is largely guest lecturers from the local nonprofit community, providing a pragmatic take on their work. The sessions are loosely organized around the logical workflow of land protection, from setting priorities, to securing funding (and institutional partnering related to this), to deal-making (fee simple purchases, easements, land transfers and swaps), to long-term stewardship and program evaluation.
The Triangle region hosts an impressive collection of local and national (and international) agencies, most of whom have participated in this seminar at one time or another. These include, among others: Triangle Land Conservancy, Eno River Association, Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association, Coastal Land Trust of NC, Conservation Trust for NC, The Conservation Fund, and NC Chapter of The Nature Conservancy.