Teaching

Since my arrival at UNBC in 2002, I have mentored students in the classroom and as a thesis supervisor.  I teach on a variety of topical themes in the earth and environmental sciences including Quaternary and surficial geology, environmental reconstruction, process geomorphology, glaciology, and physical hydrology. My courses are designed to encourage active instruction and learning. As a university instructor, it is my responsibility to train students for a marketable earth science career. Students who take my courses rate me as a skilled instructor but one with high expectations. Most students who complete these courses feel that the laboratory components of these courses are challenging, but useful. I am always available to help students as evidenced in the student evaluation scores for these courses.

I have a keen interest in training students for marketable careers in the earth and environmental sciences. I have developed my upper-division courses to fulfill the requirements for the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (APEG-BC) Professional Geoscientist (PGeo) accreditation. The PGeo is actively sought after by most environmental consulting companies and government agencies that hire geomorphologists. Like the registered professional forester’s accreditation (RPF), the PGeo is a legal entitlement to practice geoscience in British Columbia and Canada.

Courses I regularly teach include the following (look here for links):

  • GEOG-411/611 (Quaternary and Surficial Geology)

My Quaternary geology course considers major processes that have shaped the landscape of western Canada over the past two million years. In lectures we consider topics including ice dynamics and glacier mass balance, external and internal factors driving climate change during the Quaternary, radiometric dating techniques, and methods of paleo-environmental reconstruction. Laboratory exercises include surficial mapping from air photos, problem sets in glacier flow and glacier mass balance, logging stratigraphic sections, principles of topographic surveys, and exercises in Quaternary dating methods. Students are also expected to prepare a major research paper and oral presentation on a Quaternary topic of their choice.

  • GEOG-311 (Drainage Basin Geomorphology)

This course focuses on hillslope and fluvial processes in drainage basins. Laboratory exercises integrate concepts introduced during lectures and readings. As Geomorphology is a quantitative science, many of the laboratory exercises are developed to introduce or to re-emphasize analytical and statistical techniques.

  • GEOG-310 (Introduction to Hydrology)

The physical properties of water, its variable states, and interaction with the atmosphere, biota, surface and subsurface of the earth make hydrology one of the truly multi-disciplinary fields of study in the earth and environmental sciences. Consequently, hydrologists require a basic understanding of Atmospheric Science, Biology, Chemistry, Forestry, Physics, Physical Geography and Soil Science. This course introduces the fundamentals of hydrology as a process-based science.

  • GEOG-210 (Introduction to Geomorphology)

The study of Earth’s dynamic surface is best appreciated though physics, mathematics, and chemistry. This introductory course blends these required disciplines together and allows students to appreciate how surface processes operate to create the diverse landscape that we see today.

  • GEOG-111 (Theory and Practice of Physical Geography)

This course is intended for students who wish to major in Physical Geography. It has been designed to allow physical geographers who have recently declared a major in Physical Geography to meet as a group and learn about the theory and practice of Geography.  The course allows new BSc Geography majors to develop student and faculty contacts which improves mentoring and degree advising from faculty.

  • GEOG-100 (Environments and People – The Geography of Natural Hazards)

The course is an introduction to the Geography of Natural Hazards. It focuses on introducing geophysical processes that pose risk to humans. The course also considers the human factors that make these natural processes hazardous to life and property. Hazards considered in the course include earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, landslides, coastal processes, climate change, and severe weather events. One objective of the course is also to recruit first and second-year students to administrative units that specialize in the study of natural hazards (Physical Geography, Environmental Science and Engineering).