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Teaching Philosophy

I have had many opportunities throughout my academic career to teach fundamental concepts, laboratory procedures, and field methods to undergraduate students.  These experiences have cemented my desire to be an instructor at the university level and have led me to a broader understanding of earth science.  Participatory learning of field and laboratory techniques is necessary in the geosciences because it is so strongly rooted in observation and sampling of systems that are inherently challenging to quantify and difficult to replicate in the classroom setting.  The aim of this approach is to give students the ability to ask meaningful research questions and formulate testable hypotheses about their environmental and earth science interests.  I believe that these tools have broad application in multiple disciplines throughout academia as well as industry.

Core Classes Taught Regularly

Undergraduate Level

​Water in A Changing World (GSC 110)

This is an introduction to water resource issues affecting urban, agricultural, and natural end-users in California, and the arid southwest.  This course integrates basic hydrologic principles, discussion of recent research, and historical issues to understand current water resource management decisions and future trends in water use.  Some topics include components of the hydrologic cycle and water budgets, water management, drought and conservation strategies, surface water law, drinking water regulations, groundwater resources, and water quality.

Geochemistry (GSC 300)/Laboratory (300L)

This course presents an examination of the inter-relationship between geology and chemistry.  The main objective of this course is to provide a basic foundation in geochemistry.  Lecture will present an introduction to thermodynamics and kinetics and their application to geochemical processes, the carbonate system, aqueous geochemistry, mineral formation and weathering processes, global geochemical cycles, and isotopes.  The laboratory section will follow lecture topics with problem sets and in-class activities that teach geochemistry problem solving skills and use of instrumentation. 

Hydrogeology (GSC 360)/Laboratory (360L)

This course presents an encompassing overview of the principles of hydrogeology and its place in the hydrologic cycle.  Lectures will emphasize properties of aquifers and principles of groundwater flow.  Labs will present problem solving skills and hands-on activities.


Soil Physics (GSC 432)/Laboratory (432L)

The main objective of this course is to characterize the physical attributes of soil. Topics will include Soil particle size distribution and structure, nature and behavior of clay, state and movement of water and solutes in saturated and unsaturated soil conditions, gas and energy exchange between soil and atmosphere, and soil thermal properties.  

Graduate Level

Advanced Hydrogeology (GSC 545)/Laboratory (GSC 545L)

This course is designed to reinforce hydrogeological principles.  Lectures will emphasize in-depth discussions of fluid mechanics, fluid flow equations, surface water/groundwater interactions, and conceptual/computer models used to characterize the occurrence and transport of water in a variety of geologic and subsurface environments.

Contaminant Fate and Transport (GSC 575)/Laboratory (GSC 575L)

This course will take a systems approach that combines broad aspects of hydrology, hydrogeology, and environmental geochemistry to understand contaminant fate and transport in earth surface and subsurface settings. Lecture will cover real world problems, important research, current topics, and presenting a theoretical basis behind fate and transport of contaminants.  Topics include mass balance, advection, diffusion, partitioning of chemicals between different phases in the environment, and the use of chemical and isotopic tracers.


Isotope Geochemistry (GSC 599)

This is an introduction to stable, radiogenic, and cosmogenic isotope geochemistry for understanding geologic processes.  Topics include basic isotope systematics, geochronology, stable isotopes in the hydrologic cycle, use novel isotopes systems, and tracers.   

Classes that I Occasionally Teach

Physical Geology (GSC 111)

Physical Geology Laboratory (GSC 141)

Natural Disasters (GSC 350)

Earth Science Seminar (GSC 410)

Hydrogeology Field Module (GSC 491)

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