AS A TEACHER, I do not believe that transmitting knowledge should be the primary goal of education. Students are not passive recipients of information. Teachers and students create meaning together, intersubjectively, by sharing their experiences, contributing their ideas, challenging their preconceived notions, and attempting to make sense of complex patterns, processes, and events in the world around them. The purpose of an intersubjective approach is to cultivate a collaborative learning community characterized by curiosity, respect, openness, and teamwork, in which teachers and students join together as knowledge seekers. An intersubjective approach is not a teaching philosophy; it is a learning philosophy.

WHAT THIS MEANS is that, for most courses and subjects, understanding concepts is far more important than absorbing content. This is particularly true in the fields of history and environmental studies, which require diverse, interdisciplinary critical thinking skills above all else.

THIS METHOD CAN PRESENT CHALLENGES in large lecture courses, but it is not impossible to maintain an intersubjective approach even in the most cavernous and impersonal university auditoria. In my courses, I seek to integrate students into every aspect of the course design and implementation. I facilitate open discussions in my 400-person Introduction to Environmental Studies course as well as in my upper-division and seminar courses. I provide options and opportunities for students to excel by expressing themselves in the ways that best suit them while still demonstrating their progress and knowledge. And I use technologies that seek to engage students and reduce stress while rejecting those that promote digital alienation. Most important, I regard my own experiences teaching in the classroom and the field as learning opportunities.

   - Introduction to Environmental Studies, Environmental Studies 1 (u)
   - Wildlife in America, History & Environmental Studies 108W (u)
   - The History of the Oceans, History & Environmental Studies 108O (u)   
   - Environmental History Proseminar, History & Environmental Studies (u)   
   - Environmental History, History 208 A/B (g)         
   - The Politics of Science, History 201HS (g)   
   - Workshop in Environmental History, History 295 (g)

Each quarter during the academic year, I offer a workshop, listed in the UCSB course catalog as History 295, for graduate students studying environmental history, nature-culture geography, history of science, science studies, and related fields. The purpose of the workshop is to provide a forum for frank discussions about the big issues facing scholars in these fields now and in the coming decades. We read and discuss each other's writing, contemplate professionalization issues, watch and reflect on documentary films and other related media, take occasional field trips, and host invited guests who give lectures and discuss their new projects. The workshop usually meets one Thursday each month, in the evening over food and libations. In the spring of 2016, History 295 participants also took a 4-day retreat to the UC Yosemite Field Station.

In 2014, as a member of the UCSB Academic Senate Working Group, I helped facilitate a proposal for a new Interdepartmental PhD Emphasis in Environment & Society. I served as the first IEES director from 2014 to 2016. The goal of this emphasis is to provide UCSB doctoral students an opportunity to receive training and mentorship in interdisciplinary environmental studies and sciences beyond the scope of their normal degree programs. Students that join the emphasis and complete all of the requirementsreceive a certificate analogous to an undergraduate minor. For more on the emphasis, including instructions for how to apply, click here.

Postdoctoral fellows: 
    - Kevin Brown, ISEECI Fellow (PhD, Carnegie Mellon, 2013)
    - Jennifer A. Martin, Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow (PhD, Wisconsin, 2013)

Graduate students for whom I serve as dissertation char or co-chair:
    - Brian Tyrrell, Center for Nanotechnology & Society Graduate Fellow, Dept. of History
    - Tim Paulson, UCSB University Graduate Fellow, Dept. of History
    - Jessica Marter-Kenyon, Mellon Foundation Graduate Fellow (2013-14), Dept. of Geography

Graduate students for whom I serve as a committee member:
    - Zoe Welch, Dept. of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology
    - Pablo Sepulveda, Dept. of Anthropology
    - Thomas Doran, Dept. of English
    - Jaime Rossiter, Dept. of Geography, San Diego State University
    - Elijah Bender, Dept. of History

Former graduate students & fellows:
    - Tammy Elwell, Fulbright Foundation Graduate Fellow (2012-13), Dept. of Geography
    - Angélica Márquez, UC Mexus Graduate Fellow, Dept. of History
    - Jackson Warkentin, Dept. of History (committee member)
    - Andrew Esch, National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow, Dept. of History
    - Roger Eardley-Pryor (committee member), Chemical Heritage Foundation
    - Hanni Jalil (committee member)
    - Grayson Maas, Dept. of Anthropology (committee member)
    - Elizabeth Calloway, Dept. of English (committee member)

Undergraduate assistants & mentees (current and former):
    - Eddie Bernal, Annie Golday, Ana Ascher, Eddie Bernal, Dharini Claire, Sebastienne Kent,
      Alexa Diaz, Guy Western, Christina Tabacco, Caitlin Dawson, Alejandro Sorg, Kim Asbury

    - From Notes to Narratives
    - Proposal Writing: A Simple Framework
    - Defining Your Questions
    - Getting Published in Academic Journals
    - From Dissertation to Book       
    - Guide to Academic Job Interview Questions
    - The Academic Job Cover Letter