Teaching at the University of Waterloo

Department of Environment and Resource Studies

My approach to teaching is student-centred, research-based, problem-oriented, interdisciplinary, collaborative, rooted in theory and linked to practice with the development of skills being emphasized.  I utilize my theoretical research to inform, but also be informed by my practical research interventions and use the results in my teaching.  I use practical case studies to engage students in real-life problems/issues that require insight and synthesis from a variety of disciplines.  I encourage team-work and collaboration in the classroom setting, providing clear goals for learning while allowing some flexibility to address students’ interests.

As an instructor, I recognize that each student has different strengths and learning styles.  I also recognize that in any classroom there are inherent power differentials, between students and instructor, and even between students.  As such, I am committed to a collaborative and critical approach to learning.  I actively strive to create a comfortable and collaborative environment in the classroom, whether a large class or a small seminar class, ensuring that each student feels safe to communicate and share different ideas and perspectives so that the entire group, including myself, the instructor, can learn together.  Outside the classroom, I offer students a variety of opportunities to communicate ideas and concerns as well as to excel as students.  I always ensure that students have the opportunity to communicate with me, the instructor, as well as teaching assistants (if applicable) via uw-ace, online course software, e-mail, telephone or office hours.  I also strive to offer students a variety of assignments to ensure that I offer each student an opportunity to succeed, whether they excel in formal writing or oral presentations or individual/ group assignments.

Current Courses

ERS 311 - Introduction to Systems Thinking

ERS 315: Environmental and Sustainability Assessment II (formerly ERS 339)

ERS 415: Environmental and Sustainability Assessment III (formerly ERS 445)

ERS 475/675: Land-craft and Primitive Skills

ERS 475: Social Justice

ERS 475: Systems, Social Innovation and Leadership

ERS 675 - Introduction to Indigenous Knowledge for Environmental Studies Students - Lead by Peter Schuler, Elder and Traditional Knowledge Holder, Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation