Assistant Professor of Plant Science
She teaches courses on ecology, ethnobotany, and soundscapes. Her research focuses on climate change effects on ecological communities, and how to conserve biodiversity with climate change. Bringing a background in anthropology to her work in ecology, she strives for a holistic, interdisciplinary approach to socio-ecological challenges.
How do living things exist together? Ecology is the study of the relationships of living things to each other and their environment. With an emphasis on plants, this course will introduce students to population, community and landscape ecology, as well as explore broader socio-ecological perspectives, including conservation/restoration ecology, the effects of global change, ecological justice and political ecology. We will use a combination of primary scientific literature, popular science media, environmental literature, and textbook resources. Students will also begin to explore basic ecological study design and analysis in R programming language. We will explore local field sites and conduct in depth observation of a campus ecological community. Walking in variable terrain and weather will be required. This course has no prerequisites.
This course is part of an integrated science learning experience combining water resources, mathematical modeling, and microorganisms using the Hampshire College Kern Center, built to the Living Building Challenge Standard, as a case study. Students will meet twice a week to explore the science behind the microbial systems of the living building. Then, once a week all three classes (NS132, NS140 and NS156) will meet together to complete interdisciplinary projects, share expertise, and form a collaborative science learning community. Students will read and share primary literature and work collaboratively on projects. We will learn about the campus living building from the architects and design engineers, take field tours, and meet faculty across campus engaged with the project. Students who complete this course may choose to continue their work using the living building in NS280, Collaborative Project Design, during the spring semester. Students enrolled in Microbes in the Living Building (NS156) will explore the role microorganisms play in the built environment, particularly the treatment of greywater and composting biogeochemical processes. We will apply microbiology lab methods to assess the characteristics and quantity of microorganisms throughout the building.