Teaching

Courses taught at Emory University:

Scheduled for 2017-18 academic year

Environmental Economics (Autumn Term – joint upper level BSc/MSc)

Quantitative Methods in Environmental Sciences (Spring Term – BSc-level required course, co-taught with Dr. Berry Brosi)

Climate change in Georgia: challenges and solutions (Spring Term – freshman seminar)


2016-17 academic year

Environmental Economics (Autumn Term – joint upper level BSc/MSc course for students from ENVS and Master’s in Development Program)

Quantitative Methods in Environmental Sciences (Spring Term – BSc-level required course, co-taught with Dr. Berry Brosi)

Environmental Valuation  (Spring Term – joint upper level BSc/MSc course)

2015-16 academic year

Environmental Economics (Spring Term 2015-16 – joint upper level BSc/MSc course)

Environmental Science-Policy Interface (Spring Term 2015-16 – joint upper level BSc/MSc course)


Teaching philosophy

Disciplinary breadth is central to help bridge disciplines, identify tools for practical sustainability-oriented research, and to craft interventions and actions that can transform unsustainable human behaviour that threatens the environment that supports societies and enhances quality of life.

Students studying complex environmental, social, and political problems need to appreciate that level of complexity, learn how to identify important research questions and cleave them into pieces that are answerable, and develop the skills for answering those questions by developing theoretical expertise and methodological skills. Our job is to help students develop the capacity for ‘intelligent inquiry’ regarding sustainable personal, organizational and societal decisions.

The issue of what scientific tools (theories and methodologies) to apply to policy and governance challenges depends on the specific research and policy questions that need to be answered and the data needed to answer those questions. Our teaching emphasis is on helping students understand the range of tools available for conducting natural and social science research, the key intuitions behind different approaches, and an appreciation of when different types of tools can be fruitfully applied.

Conducting credible, policy-relevant social science research is only part of the challenge for researchers: effective communications is also essential. Research findings must be translated into outputs that have real-world impacts. We teach students to develop practical writing and presentation skills that will help them mobilize social science knowledge in support of sound policy. Part of the solution is to provide students with insights into the knowledge communication process itself by increasing their capacity to distinguish between low- and high-quality information (i.e., understanding the process of peer review and the credibility of research findings), meet the information provision needs of their audience (e.g., when and how to structure and write a policy brief versus a technical report), and understand how to work with the media (e.g., writing press releases, staying on message in an interview).

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