I predominantly teach courses in the Outdoor Recreation, Parks, and Human Ecology major within the Dept. of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies. My common courses focus on human-environmental interaction and include the following: SPH O 305- Integrated Resource Management; SPH O 318- Smoky Mountain National Park Field Course; SPH O 360 Human Health and Natural Environments; SPH O 413 Applications in Outdoor Recreation, Parks, and Human Ecology (major’s capstone course); and SPH O 343 / CLLC L 300- Fundamentals of Sustainable Agriculture (summer only).
Fundamentally I hold a constructivist pedagogical philosophy and accordingly believe experiential learning can maximize students’ understanding of course concepts and the relationship of the material to the real world. Consequently, I utilize field lab experiences, service learning, and extended off-campus experiences to enhance the learning process. For example, O 305- Integrated Resource Management, has a 4 hour field lab each week to complement the traditional in-class lecture/discussion sessions. O 413- Applications uses a service learning experience with a problem-based learning approach to apply the knowledge and skills students have encumbered over their studies to a real world context. This term we are working with Mt. Gilead Friends Retreat Center to develop a long-term management plan that will include the following components: Marketing and Development, Recreation Resources, Programming, and Ecosystem Management. I also have utilized partnerships with the Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources / Yellowwood State Forest, Sycamore Land Trust, Bloomington Parks and Recreation, the Local Growers’ Guild, and several other agencies to build exciting service learning opportunities that benefit both the students and the agency.