Teaching and Other Education Initiatives

Courses Taught

Geography/EnvSt 339

Environmental Conservation

Geography 765

Geographic Inquiry and Analysis: An Introduction

Geography/EnvSt/CES 434

People, Wildlife and Landscapes

Geography 766

Geographic Inquiry and Analysis: Techniques

Geography/EnvSt 538

The Humid Tropics: Ecology, Conservation and Development

Geography 930

Conserving Biodiversity amid Rapid Social Change

For course descriptions and recent syllabi go to http://www.geography.wisc.edu/courses/


Living with Elephants

This project aims to bring rural African environmental issues to life for UW undergraduate students. Thanks to funding from UW’s Education Innovation program, I’m working with co-PIs Niwaeli Kimambo (UW Geography PhD student) and Jess L’Roe (UW Geography alum and Assistant Professor at Middlebury College) and with Ryan Treves (Madison Memorial High School) to produce short videos about what it is like to live next to Kibale National Park in Uganda. Also on our team are Daisy Kuzarra, Richard Karamagi and Moses Nyakojo, all leaders in the community neighboring Kibale. Daisy, Richard and Moses are ‘virtual’ field guides for UW students. They use smartphones and WhatsApp to communicate with students about Ugandan perspectives on wildlife conservation, climate change, land scarcity and rural development. Some highlights from the recorded video vignettes include:

1. Elephants, Crops and People: Kibale National Park.

2. The daily lives of smallholder farmers.

3. Small-holder and Large-scale planting of tea.

Who owns paradise? Balancing biodiversity conservation with local livelihoods in Tambopata, Peru

This project aims to help UW students understand the promise and challenges of community-based conservation initiatives in developing countries. With funding in part from CALS’ Internationalizing the Classroom, I worked with former UW Geography graduate students, Mikaela Weisse, Nora Alvarez and Jess L’Roe at my long-term study site, Tambopata, in the Peruvian Amazon. We interviewed farmers, loggers, miners, ecotourism operators and others who have a great deal at stake in the development of Tambopata, a region of great biodiversity and extensive forests. We used these interviews as well as locally drawn maps, petitions, protests and other outputs from participatory mapping efforts in Tambopata to build a role playing exercise for use in in large lecture classes, e.g. Geography/EnvSt 339. Prof Robert Roth (Geography) was a great part of our team when it came to building the webpage. This role playing exercise is free for any faculty member at any college or university to use or draw from. For further information about the teaching goals and strategies, pls see Weisse et al.

Professional MSc in GIS Programming

Co-founder (Prof A-Xing Zhu, Founder) of Online Professional Master’s in GIS and Web Map Programming. A program overview can be found here.