In collaboration with my colleagues, I created and taught the following courses:
The world's population has recently transformed from mostly rural to urban, and billions of people call cities their home. Rapid urbanization creates unprecedented social and environmental problems that influence human well-being, environmental justice, and global sustainability. But cities foster social innovations, new environmental policies, green infrastructure, inclusive environmental governance, and environmental justice discussions. In this 3-credit course, we analyze several frameworks that describe green cities, including, biophilic cities, resilient social-ecological systems, smart cities, just sustainabilities. Students apply these ideas to develop novel approaches to address specific social and environmental urban issues. We also host guest speakers, conduct final presentations, and share students' work through ebooks. The course is offered through the Cornell University School of Continuing Education in summer and winter sessions.
Climate Action with Family and Friends
Do you want to do something to avert the climate crisis, but question whether your individual actions are meaningful? How might we move from individual to collective or group actions? In the Climate Action with Family and Friends online course, you will choose an action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and apply the latest social sciences research to influence your family and friends to take the action alongside you. While having fun with family and friends, you will extend your impacts beyond what you can do alone! Topics include:
Climate solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (from Drawdown and Moral rebels)
Behavioral contagion in networks, social mobilization, and social norms
Choice architecture and nudges
Social marketing, social media, and theory of change
Environmental Education and Community Engagement
Imagine school students and community members designing a new garden to address food justice in their neighborhood. Or a parent-teacher association helping students reach out to elected officials to discuss environmental regulations that impact their school. Or an environmental education center that collaborates with community members to advance local climate action. This course is about creating partnerships between environmental education programs and community members who aim to achieve shared goals through stewardship or advocacy. By involving youth and adults in environmental stewardship, environmental educators enhance environmental quality, social equity, and human well-being. They also engage local residents in advocacy to transform social systems that influence the environment.
Urban Environmental Education
Urban environmental education (UEE) includes any learning practices that foster individual and community well-being and environmental quality in cities. Similar to how cities are innovation hubs, urban environmental education generates novel educational approaches that advance the field of environmental education more broadly. Urban environmental educators and their programs can benefit by adapting ideas from inspirational examples of other urban environmental education programs, and from recent research in this field. In this course, you will learn about UEE, including: (1) urban contexts; (2) theoretical background, (3) educational settings, (4) participants, and (5) educational approaches in urban environmental education.
E-STEM Education is designed for teachers and nonformal educators who want to help youth become scientifically literate, environmental citizens. Teachers will learn how to integrate environmental education into STEM classes such as biology and earth science, and non-formal educators will learn how to make science part of nature and environmental education programs. You will also learn about inquiry-based learning, project-based learning, and other active learning pedagogies, and apply what you learn to develop your own E-STEM lesson plans.
Introduction to Environmental Education
Learn about environmental education foundations and approaches—including place-based education, nature and adventure education, climate change education, and environmental action in schools and non-formal settings—through pre-recorded lectures, readings, and case studies. You will apply research-based knowledge to start new or enhance existing environmental education programs, strengthen your professional networks by exchanging ideas and resources with peer educators around the world, and gain professional credentials.
Environmental Education Outcomes
Is the goal of environmental education to instill pro-environmental behaviors, foster collective environmental action, and/or to develop healthy, engaged citizens? Through short pre-recorded lectures, podcasts, readings, social media, and live webinars, this course will help you define your environmental education goals and learn what the research says is the best pathway to achieve them. Topics include environmental behaviors, collective action, knowledge, values, attitudes, nature connectedness, sense of place, identity, self- and political efficacy, norms, social capital, health and well-being, positive youth development, academic achievement, and resilience. Course participants diagram their own theory of change outlining how to reach their environmental education goals. Through this course, you will apply research-based knowledge to start new or enhance existing environmental education programs, strengthen your professional networks by exchanging ideas and resources with peer educators and university students around the world, and gain professional credentials.
Nature experiences can be educational, joyful, and comforting, especially in today’s urbanizing and post-pandemic world. Nature education brings people closer to nature and thus contributes to human well-being, including physical and mental health. This course will introduce you to diverse nature education practices, including programs run by urban and wilderness nature centers, unstructured play time for children, adventure and outdoor education programs, educational experiences in national parks, forest schools, as well as citizen science and environmental stewardship programs that incorporate nature-based experiences. Topics include personal and community benefits of nature education, cultural ecosystem services, traditional and novel approaches to nature experiences, and challenges and critiques of nature education. Based on research and practice examples, this course is designed to help educators, volunteers, community leaders, parents and anyone else to gain professional credentials in nature education, and to incorporate nature in their educational programs and everyday life.
Sample video lectures
"Environmental Education & Civic Engagement" online course. Watch other course lectures.
Sense of Place
"Environmental Education Outcomes" online course.
"E-STEM Education" online course.
Sample case studies used in my courses
Climate change education and community-based environmental restoration
EARTHCARE, the Bahamas
El Yunque National Forest
Environmental education, forest stewardship, citizen science, and community stewardship