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Teaching

FOR 203 - Field Dendrology

Syllabus

Course overview:
Field Dendro is designed to give a practical knowledge of tree identification to foresters, ecologists, and members of any related field or major. It is structured as a series of field trips, each trip consisting of tree introductions and field quizzes on species already introduced. This is a demanding class, but also one of the more fun courses you will ever take.

FOR 320 - Wildland Fire Management

Syllabus

Course overview:
This class is designed to give students an understanding of the physical and biological process of fire and the role of fire in the ecology and management of forest and non-forest systems. We begin with the basics of combustion, then complete PA130, Pennsylvania’s “Basic Wildland Firefighter” training course, and S-190 “Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior”. Following this we learn how to use BehavePlus3, which is a fire behavior model and we take an in-depth look at the process of planning a prescribed burn. The second portion of the course is dedicated to studying the ecological impacts of fire on forested systems. Throughout the course we discuss ethics, policy, and cultural influences of the human-fire relationship.

Course objectives: Students should be able to

  • discuss current issues in fire management for forests in Pennsylvania and areas from around the world
  • act as a certified wildland fire fighter in Pennsylvania
  • continue wildland fire fighter training to become a Firefighter Type 2 in the National Interagency Incident Management System
  • apply concepts of fire ecology to predict the effects of fire on a diversity of ecosystems

FOR 597 - Introduction to Tree Ring Methods (Odd years only)

Syllabus
Course objectives:

  • To introduce students to the principles and applications of dendrochronology
  • To teach students how to collect and prepare tree-ring samples for analysis
  • To teach students how to analyze tree-ring samples and data
  • For students to be able to communicate the objectives, methods, and results of a dendrochronological study

School Outreach:

In addition, I am interested in working with local schools to include field ecology into K-8 curriculum. Please contact me if you are a teacher in the State College area who is interested in field-based ecology units for your class. I am especially interested in having schools participate in nation-wide citizen-scientist observations like Project Budburst.