~~~~~~~~    Current courses    ~~~~~~~~

Spring 2015 courses



Writer's Guild

Do you need focused time to write that dissertation chapter, or proposal?  The writer’s guild provides a regular, scheduled time for you do nothing but write.  Weekly meetings, each 3 hours long.  At the beginning of each session, everyone sets three goals: “bare-minimum”, “would-be-nice”, and “wildest-dreams”.  During the three hours, there is no internet access, no cellphone, no discussions.  Just you and your laptop to write.  Quiet and not-too-quiet places to write will be available in Russell Labs, you cannot write in your own office.  If you get stuck, an instructor is available to talk things through and offer advice.  At the end, we convene to compare notes, and to write down where writing will resume at the next time that there is writing time. 

This course is open to everyone in the IGERT, dissertators and pre-dissertators alike, postdocs and Master’s students as well.  This course is targeted for anyone who wants to make significant progress on writing tasks throughout the semester.  No requirements other than to show up every week, and write the full three hours.

 

Forestry 875

Fridays 9am - 12pm

Instructor: Volker Radeloff

 

IGERT Lab Meetings

Weekly meetings, akin to traditional lab meetings.  Target students are IGERT trainees, but contact Tony if you are interested.

         

Zoology 956

M 3:30-5:30pm 

Instructor: Tony Ives

 

Fall 2014 courses



Seminar on Engaged Scholarship: Linking conservation science and practice

How can science better inform conservation practice? This course provides training in engaged scholarship, which links knowledge and action to produce social and ecological benefits. Students will interact with agency and NGO scientists and decision makers, develop strategies for engaging relevant partners in their research, and build communication skills for diverse audiences. Readings will guide our reflection on the role of natural and social science and the university in society, and help us develop models for increasing research impact.

This 1 credit course meets Tues/ Thurs 1-2pm for the first half of the semester. Each week we will spend one session discussing readings, and the second interacting with guests and building student engagement plans.  
         

Forestry 875

T/R 1-2pm (9/2/14 - 10/19/14)

Instructor: Adena Rissman

 

Collaborative Approaches to Problem - Solving

This seminar course will provide students with a real-world experience working as a team to address a discrete research problem presented by an agency or non-governmental organization.  We will combine elements of a short-term internship with training in collaborative approaches that are required in most management and policy settings. This combination will provide an experience fundamentally different from dissertation research or typical coursework in an academic setting, and more akin to private-sector consulting. Potential topics will be solicited by the instructor from 2-3 organizations prior to the semester.  During the first week of the course, students will select one project topic as a group, taking into account the capacity of the team to fulfill the mandate provided by the client organization.  Thereafter, the team will develop a plan for division of effort, analysis, synthesis, and reporting. Some components will be pursued by individual students, others by small teams, and certain issues will require coordinated activity by the whole group.  Weekly meetings will include regular interaction with representatives from the client organization, and the student team will present oral and written reports to the organization at the end of the semester.  Some individual and group work is expected in addition to weekly class meetings; the total time commitment is expected to average 3-4 hours per week.

 

Zoology 955

Wednesdays 3:30-4:30

Instructor: Pete McIntyre

 

Dissertation Proposal Writing Seminar

We often enter the field of science because we are passionate about a topic, solving pressing problems, answering big questions or perhaps we simply love particular group of organisms.  In our graduate training we learn the tools of our trade and aim to be the best researchers we can be.  We study the natural world for patterns or we tweak it and see what happens.  We then we try to make sense out of it.  But that is not where it ends.

Science, among other things, is about starting a conversation with our community of peers.  Our ideas and findings are put out in the public sphere and they are critiqued, challenged, repeated, and improved.  We may not think about this explicitly, but as we start down the path to becoming professional scientists we also need to hone our skills on how to best communicate our science.    "Science not written is science not done," as one wise professor once told me.  I would go further and say science not written well might as well not be done.  The most successful researchers are those that not only have brilliant ideas and clever methods to test them, but they are also the best communicators of that science.  Yet few of us are explicitly trained on how to write about what we do.

 

Is this course for you? This course is ideal for any graduate student who is at or near the point of writing their dissertation proposal in the sciences (i.e., within 1 or 2 semesters of your prelim exam with thesis proposal).  More advanced students (dissertators) may benefit from this workshop if you are working on fellowship proposals (EPA STAR, USDA) or other grants (e.g., NSF-DDIG).  Again, you will get the most from this workshop if you have something of your own that you are working on.

 

Forestry / Entomology 875

Wednesdays 1:30-3pm

Instructors: Francisco Pelegri and Claudio Gratton

 

Writer's Guild

Do you need focused time to write that dissertation chapter, or proposal?  The writer’s guild provides a regular, scheduled time for you do nothing but write.  Weekly meetings, each 3 hours long.  At the beginning of each session, everyone sets three goals: “bare-minimum”, “would-be-nice”, and “wildest-dreams”.  During the three hours, there is no internet access, no cellphone, no discussions.  Just you and your laptop to write.  Quiet and not-too-quiet places to write will be available in Russell Labs, you cannot write in your own office.  If you get stuck, an instructor is available to talk things through and offer advice.  At the end, we convene to compare notes, and to write down where writing will resume at the next time that there is writing time. 

This course is open to everyone in the IGERT, dissertators and pre-dissertators alike, postdocs and Master’s students as well.  This course is targeted for anyone who wants to make significant progress on writing tasks throughout the semester.  No requirements other than to show up every week, and write the full three hours.

 

Forestry 875

Fridays 9am - 12pm

Instructor: Volker Radeloff

 

~~~~~~~~   Previously offered courses    ~~~~~~~~

Spring 2014 courses

Professional Development Career Preparation Graduate Seminar

The goals of this seminar are to provide finishing PhD students with practical skills for making the transition to successful post-graduate careers (yes, there is life after the PhD). The seminar will expose students to professionals in a diversity of environmental careers inside and outside of academia, including the wide range of academic institutions, jobs in policy, federal research labs, state agencies, NGOs, industry, and private enterprise. We will discuss the role of postdoctoral positions among disciplines, the importance of networking, managing your online presence, and differences between mentors and sponsors. Participants will learn interviewing and negotiating skills, gain experience writing and critiquing job applications, and practice time-management skills useful beyond the last push to finish and publish the thesis. We will identify funding opportunities for post-docs and beginning principal investigators and resources for setting up your own business. All student participants will be expected to produce a working cv and professional website by the end of the semester. 

  

Geography 920

Tuesdays 1:15-2:15pm

Instructor: Erika Marin-Spiotta

 

 

Seminar on Novel Ecosystems

Humans are now the dominant biogeographic, evolutionary, and climatic force on Earth. The natural world faces unprecedented rates of change, and the pace and geographic extent of these changes will continue to increase throughout the 21st century. As we change the environment ever more rapidly, new climate conditions are emerging that have no historical analogs, novel ecosystems are flourishing, and people are creating new land use patterns and demographic, economic, and political realities. The future looks less and less predictable and unlike the past, and “the oldest task in human history: to live on a piece of land without spoiling it” (Aldo Leopold) is slipping further and further from our reach. What do these unpredictable and unprecedented changes mean for future biodiversity, for sustainability, and for conservation?

 

In this seminar, we will explore what novel ecosystem, and novel environments are, what they mean for science, and what they mean for management.  These discussions will form the basis for an (invited) article in Ecological Applications, which the co-instructors will spearhead, and all seminar participants will be invited to co-author.

 

 

Forestry 875

Tuesdays 8:30 - 10am (seminar) 10-11 (working groups)

Instructors: Volker Radeloff and Jack Williams

 

Writer's Guild

Do you need focused time to write that dissertation chapter, or proposal?  The writer’s guild provides a regular, scheduled time for you do nothing but write.  Weekly meetings, each 3 hours long.  At the beginning of each session, everyone sets three goals: “bare-minimum”, “would-be-nice”, and “wildest-dreams”.  During the three hours, there is no internet access, no cellphone, no discussions.  Just you and your laptop to write.  Quiet and not-too-quiet places to write will be available in Russell Labs, you cannot write in your own office.  If you get stuck, an instructor is available to talk things through and offer advice.  At the end, we convene to compare notes, and to write down where writing will resume at the next time that there is writing time. 

This course is open to everyone in the IGERT, dissertators and pre-dissertators alike, postdocs and Master’s students as well.  This course is targeted for anyone who wants to make significant progress on writing tasks throughout the semester.  No requirements other than to show up every week, and write the full three hours.

 

Forestry 875

Fridays 9am - 12pm

Instructor: Volker Radeloff

 

Fall 2013 courses



Collaborative Approaches to Problem - Solving

The Seminar in Collaborative Approaches to Problem-Solving will provide students with a real-world experience working as a team to address a discrete research problem presented by an agency or non-governmental organization.  This course will combine elements of a short-term internship with training in collaborative approaches that are required in most management and policy settings. This combination will provide an experience fundamentally different from dissertation research or typical coursework in an academic setting. Potential topics will be solicited by the instructor from 3-4 organizations prior to the semester.  During the first week of the course, students will select one project as a group, then develop a plan for division of effort, analysis, synthesis, and reporting. Some components will be pursued by individual students, others by small teams, and certain issues will require coordinated activity by the whole group.  Weekly meetings will include regular interaction with representatives from the ‘client’ organization, and the student team will present oral and written reports to the organization at the end of the semester.  Additional individual and group work is expected outside of class meetings; the total expected time commitment is 3-4 hours per week.

 

Zoology 955

Thursdays 12:05-12:55

Instructor: Jake Vander Zanden

 

Writer's Guild

Do you need focused time to write that dissertation chapter, or proposal?  The writer’s guild provides a regular, scheduled time for you do nothing but write.  Weekly meetings, each 3 hours long.  At the beginning of each session, everyone sets three goals: “bare-minimum”, “would-be-nice”, and “wildest-dreams”.  During the three hours, there is no internet access, no cellphone, no discussions.  Just you and your laptop to write.  Quiet and not-too-quiet places to write will be available in Russell Labs, you cannot write in your own office.  If you get stuck, an instructor is available to talk things through and offer advice.  At the end, we convene to compare notes, and to write down where writing will resume at the next time that there is writing time. 

This course is open to everyone in the IGERT, dissertators and pre-dissertators alike, postdocs and Master’s students as well.  This course is targeted for anyone who wants to make significant progress on writing tasks throughout the semester.  No requirements other than to show up every week, and write the full three hours.

 

Forestry 875

Fridays 9am - 12pm

Instructor: Volker Radeloff

 




IGERT Lab Meetings



Spring 2013 courses


IGERT Lab Meeting

Communicating across disciplinary boundaries is challenging.  Researchers in different disciplines often use different language to describe the same thing.  Different disciplines often use different research paradigms to evaluate information; what constitutes "proof" in one discipline might not in another.  Most importantly, researchers from different disciplines might look at the same situation but see different problems, and hence come up with different solutions, even when everybody agrees on a common goal.  While this presents a challenge, it also presents an opportunity of interdisciplinarity -- the possibility of assembling multiple solutions to an environmental situation that needs remedy, remediation, or warning.

The best way to train for interdisciplinary work is to engage with researchers from other disciplines in a forum that demands communication.  This seminar mirrors in many ways a lab meeting.  Each week a member will be responsible for presenting his or her own research.  This could be in the form of a practice research talk in their discipline, preparation for the final defense of their thesis, or brainstorming a new research idea, to name a few.  The key is that presenters must delve into the details of their disciplinary work, yet make it accessible to researchers from other disciplines.  This demands not only mastery of the discipline, but also mastery of broad communication that is essential for interdisciplinary research.  At the same, the other members of the seminar will be expected to participate with questions and suggestions to ensure that communication goes in both directions.

 

Zoology 875

Wednesdays 1:15-2:15pm

Instructor: Tony Ives

 

 

IGERT writing support group

This seminar is intended to serve as writing "support group" for students in all stages of their writing. We will address issues and strategies for effective writing of research papers and proposals. The focus will be on students working on their writing projects and bringing them to class for feedback, critique and peer-review.  Students will set writing goals and revisit them periodically. A follow-up to the writing course in the fall, but open to everyone (including postdocs) whether you’ve taken the fall seminar or not.

 

Entomology / Forest & Wildlife Ecology 875

Wednesdays 1:15 - 2:15pm

Instructors: Murray Clayton and Volker Radeloff

Fall 2012 courses

Dissertation Proposal Writing Seminar

We often enter the field of science because we are passionate about a topic, solving pressing problems, answering big questions or perhaps we simply love particular group of organisms.  In our graduate training we learn the tools of our trade and aim to be the best researchers we can be.  We study the natural world for patterns or we tweak it and see what happens.  We then we try to make sense out of it.  But that is not where it ends.

Science, among other things, is about starting a conversation with our community of peers.  Our ideas and findings are put out in the public sphere and they are critiqued, challenged, repeated, and improved.  We may not think about this explicitly, but as we start down the path to becoming professional scientists we also need to hone our skills on how to best communicate our science.    "Science not written is science not done," as one wise professor once told me.  I would go further and say science not written well might as well not be done.  The most successful researchers are those that not only have brilliant ideas and clever methods to test them, but they are also the best communicators of that science.  Yet few of us are explicitly trained on how to write about what we do.

 

Is this course for you? This course is ideal for any graduate student who is at or near the point of writing their dissertation proposal in the sciences (i.e., within 1 or 2 semesters of your prelim exam with thesis proposal).  More advanced students (dissertators) may benefit from this workshop if you are working on fellowship proposals (EPA STAR, USDA) or other grants (e.g., NSF-DDIG).  Again, you will get the most from this workshop if you have something of your own that you are working on.

 

Forestry 875

Instructors: Murray Clayton and Claudio Gratton