I love teaching; it is one of the primary reasons I chose a career in academia. I value the chance to support student learning, to connect students to the world around them, and to mentor them in their careers. I am always aware that my teaching can mature, yet still I am incredibly proud of what my talented UC Davis students achieve when I am teaching well. Learning is difficult. It requires changing our relationship to the world around us, which demands willingness, self-awareness, and effort. To be in charge of that learning is humbling.
In my classes, I don’t tell students what to memorize and hope they remember it. When students learn, it is because they are in a space that I have intentionally designed to be energetic, experiential, safe, and still demanding. My teaching philosophy draws from many influences–from my own time studying abroad, to the design-build projects I learned from in architecture school, to the interdisciplinary cultural approach of Paul Groth (and indirectly J.B Jackson), to the passionate and community-engaged style of Marcia McNally and Randy Hester. I have built from these influences with pedagogies of active, experiential learning, especially those of Alice and David Kolb, Paulo Freire, and of course John Dewey.
Experiential learning is perfectly suited for landscape architecture and environmental design, where books and lectures are inadequate alone to understand spatial, environmental, and social dynamics of places. In my lecture course, LDA 2, I connect students to places through diverse lenses including competing histories, theories, and disciplines. I also assign a cultural landscapes assignment that requires real-world application of class themes as well as interactions with living people. In my studios, I emphasize fieldwork by connecting students with actual projects and clients. As a study abroad instructor in Barcelona, I have been able to provide a structure for students to learn from books, from local experts, from walking, and from engaged community projects. LDA 141, the community participation seminar, has provided the most meaningful learning experiences. Structured around our book, Design as Democracy, I have been able to connect deeply to the content and to convert my own passion into student motivation; by walking with students as they undertake community-based design projects, I have witnessed transformative learning that inspires effort and excellence.
UC Davis, Department of Human Ecology, Assistant Professor, 2013 – present
Sp19 LDA 198 – Fieldwork Lab. Group projects studio. 10 students.
W19* LDA 141 – Studio & Seminar: Community Participation & Design. 40 students. (Student work)
W19* LDA 2 – Lecture: Place, Culture and Community. 108 students.
F18 FRS-4 – First Year Seminar: Drawing the City. 16 students.
Su18 LDA 191 & CRD 153 – Summer Abroad: Housing and Urbanism in Barcelona. 30 students. (Class website)
Sp18* LDA 201 – Graduate Seminar: Theories of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Design. 8 students.
W18 LDA 198 – Group Study – The Sustainable Living and Learning Communities Vision Plan. 5 students (plus 13 students auditing).
F17 LDA 198 – Group Study: Solar Decathlon. 1 student
Su17 LDA 191 & CRD 153 – Summer Abroad: Housing and Urbanism in Barcelona. With Rob Wiener. 32 students.
Sp17* CRD 250 – Graduate Seminar – Professional Skills in Community Development. 12 students. See final student report here.
Sp17* LDA 190 – Colloquium: Designing for Diversity. With Claire Napawan and Sheryl Ann Simpson. 152 students.
Sp17* LDA 184 – Studio: Landscape Architecture Independent Capstone Projects. 17 students.
Sp17 LDA 192 – Internship Supervision. 2 students.
W17* LDA 102 – Seminar. Research Methods in Landscape Architecture. 31 students.
W17 FRS4 – First Year Seminar: The Creative Practice: Cultivating Habits of Mindfulness. 18 students.
W17 LDA 198 – Group Study. Campus Sustainability Design Projects. 2 students.
F16 LDA 98 – Seminar: Environmental and Agricultural Sustainability Education. 7 students.
F16 LDA 192 – Internship Supervision. 1 student.
Su16 LDA 191 & CRD 153 – Summer Abroad: Urbanism and Housing in Barcelona. 29 students.
Sp16 LDA 192 – Internship Supervision. 1 student.
W16* LDA 2 – Lecture: Place, Culture and Community. 99 students.
W16 LDA 198 – Seminar on Community Engaged Design & Journalism. With jesikah maria ross. 14 students.
F15* LDA 191 – Studio: Advanced Landscape Design, Community Based Urban Agriculture. 14 students.
Su15 LDA 191 & CRD 153 – Summer Abroad: Housing and Urbanism in Barcelona. With Rob Wiener. 30 students.
Sp15* LDA 199 – Studio: Landscape Architecture Senior Projects. 20 students.
W15* CRD 250 – Gradate Seminar: Professional Skills in Community Development. 9 students.
W15* LDA 102 – Seminar. Research Methods in Landscape Architecture. 32 students.
W15* LDA 190 – Colloquium: Landscape Engagements. 32 students.
Sp14 LDA 198 – Group Study: Solar Decathlon. 7 students.
Sp14 LDA 198 – Group Study: Agricultural Sustainability Institute landscape design. 2 students.
W14* LDA 170 – Studio: Site Planning. 18 students.
F13* LDA 191 – Studio: Advanced Landscape Design, Regenerative Ecologies of Bodega Bay. 18 students.
University of California, Berkeley, Instructor and Graduate Student Instructor, 2006, 2009-2012
F12 LA 251 – Graduate Seminar: Theories of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning. Instructor. 12 students.
Sp11 LA 201 – Landscape Architecture Graduate Studio, Marcel Wilson. Graduate Student Instructor.
F10 LA 301 – Methods of Teaching in Landscape Architecture. Graduate Seminar. Instructor. 10 students.
Sp10 LA 190 – Landscape Colloquium. Speaker Series Organizer.
F09 LA 170 – History of Landscape Architecture, Louise Mozingo. Graduate Student Instructor.
Sp06 GEOG 160b – American Cultural Landscapes, Paul Groth. Graduate Student Instructor.
University of California, Davis, Lecturer, 2007-2010
Su10 American Studies 151 – Seminar: Landscapes and Places. 4 students.
W09 LDA 70 – Studio: Introduction to Space Making. 20 students.
F08 LDA 21 – Landscape Drawing Studio. 26 students.
W08 LDA 191 – Advanced Urban Design Studio, Corridor Design. 19 students.
Su07 American Studies 153 – Individual & Community. Instructor. 15 students.
California State University, Sacramento, Lecturer, 2006-2007
F07 Interior Design 21 – Design Fundamentals Studio. 18 students.
F06 Interior Design 124 – Seminar: Principles of House Design. Instructor. 40 students.