Current Courses

  • LRES 571 - Landscape and Ecosystem Ecology: This course focuses on the principles and applications of landscape and ecosystem ecology. Students will gain an understanding of the factors that shape landscape patterns in space and time and the subsequent consequences for ecosystem processes. An important component of the course is an exploration of the methods and tools of landscape and ecosystem analysis. The content of the course is based on a combination of readings from textbooks and the primary literature and will hinge on in-depth interactions via online discussion. In addition, students will be expected to develop a rigorous analytical term-project motivated by a relevant question and the availability of data sets.
  • LRES 573 - Remote Sensing Applications in Environmental Science: This course focuses on the science and applications of remote sensing in environmental science. Students will gain an understanding of the basics of remote sensing science geared towards critical interpretation of the applications of remote sensing in environmental science. The content of the course is based on a combination of readings from a textbook and the primary literature and will hinge on in-depth interactions via online discussion. In addition, students will be exposed to hands-on exercises in basic digital image processing and analysis.
  • UH 494 - Honors Seminar - Disconnected Science: Exploring Climate Change Policy Deadlock (co-taught with Tony Hartshorn and Douglas Fischer): On no other topic do science and American public policy intersect with greater explosiveness than climate change. This class is an investigation into the scientific and political debates over climate science, looking at the broader role that science can play in informing public dialogue of important environmental issues facing society. Over the course of the semester students will be introduced to the challenge of “business-as-usual” greenhouse gas emissions and potential solutions; students will be asked to assess the scope and effectiveness of political responses, from the local level up to the international arena. No easy answers exist to the climate issue. We expect that by semester's end students will have a firm grasp of the science and be able to argue knowledgeably about the pros and cons of a variety of climate mitigation and adaptation efforts.
  • ENSC 110 - Introduction to Land Resources and Environmental Sciences: This course is an introduction to the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences (LRES) curriculum. It introduces students to land/natural resources and related management issues, and demonstrates how basic environmental and ecological sciences are applied in an interdisciplinary manner to solve problems. 
  • LRES 573 - Frontier in Remote Sensing: This course focuses on the emerging trends, technologies, and applications in remote sensing. Potential topics include lidar, radar, newly deployed satellites/sensors, and emerging scientific applications in remote sensing. Students who have a background and/or interest in remote sensing applications will be exposed to cutting-edge science, technologies and applications which will broaden their exposure to this rapidly developing field. For the spring term of 2018, the course will focus on the rapid emergence of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in remote sensing. UAS equipped with high-tech cameras for remote sensing are poised to revolutionize the science and management of natural resources. Students in this course will gain expertise in the applications of UAS technology. This seminar-style course will introduce many of the technological aspects of the field as well as provide hands-on experience in flight planning, data acquisition, and data processing. Through primary literature readings, the course will focus on the science of UAS remote sensing in a variety of natural resource management applications. The course will conclude with a consideration of the legal and regulatory framework governing the use of UAS in remote sensing.
  • HONR 291CS - Taking the Pulse of Montana in a Changing World: Climate change is forcing all kinds of change in Montana. Last year's publication of the first-ever Montana Climate Assessment ( provides an ideal framework to ground-truth the potential social, economic, and ecological impacts of climate change across the state of Montana. Ground-truth is essential: greenhouse gases are invisible. Furthermore, the signal of climate change can be difficult to tease out from weather-related noise. This 3-week Honors Academy course is equal parts exploration and adventure: Using the Montana Climate Assessment as a guide, the class will set out across the state to seek diverse perspectives on climate science, probe the effectiveness of policy approaches, and witness the consequences of climate change on Montana’s water, forest, and agricultural resources. This voyage of discovery will take students from the receding ice in Glacier National Park, to the wheat fields of the Golden Triangle, to the coal fields of Eastern Montana, to the capital city of Helena, and to the forests of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem.

I also serve as the Program Coordinator and Faculty Lead for the Online Masters Program in Environmental Sciences. For more information about this program, please visit: