Provost's General Education Teaching Award, 2003

Teaching Philosophy

Katie's Teaching Logistics Webpage

 Mentoring Presentation for the UA Graduate Student Orientation


  Faculty in the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research have the opportunity to teach courses in a variety of departments. I teach the following courses:

  Introduction to Global Change (GC 170A1) (3 units)

Examination of natural climatic variability and the ways humans alter the global environment; analysis of linkages between components of the earth system (i.e., atmosphere, biosphere, and geosphere). General Education Tier I course. (Offered every Fall semester)

Global Change Toolkit (GC 695g) (1 unit)

This is a 1 unit colloquium designed specifically for graduate students in the Global Change GIDP PhD Minor, although students in any global-change related discipline may enroll. The course's focus is the acquisition of a basic "Global Change Toolkit," i.e., the foundational background, vocabulary, and communication skills necessary for successful engagement in advanced interdisciplinary scholarly research on global change issues.

Global and Regional Climatology (GEOG /GEOS 547) (3 units)

Description and analysis of the atmospheric circulation process that produces differences in climates throughout the world. Emphasis on the earth's problem climates and climatically sensitive zones most susceptible to floods, droughts, and other environmental stresses due to global change.

 Flood Hydrometeorology & Hydroclimatology (HWRS  696F Seminar) (1-3 units)

This graduate seminar course will focus on the meteorological and climate-related causes of floods, both regionally and globally.  After an overview of flood-generating processes, participants will examine and present case studies of a selection of past major flood events in the United States based on published post-flood reports (USGS, NOAA).  In tandem with these case studies, we will review and discuss the relevant classic and current scientific literature on flood hydrometeorology, hydroclimatology, extreme precipitation events, and flooding and climate change.  To apply the knowledge gained, participants will conduct a detailed analysis of a selected watershed’s flood history to assess the past, present, and (projected) future climate-related drivers of the watershed’s flooding variability.  The semester will close with readings and discussion on the policy and planning implications that emerge from this physically based, climate-linked understanding of the underlying causes of flooding variability.

Synoptic Sense Module (GEOS /WS 595e Colloquium)   (1 unit)

This 5-week module will be a practicum on the use and interpretation of data available from the NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis   After a basic introduction to synoptic-scale atmospheric processes, we will read the original articles about the reanalysis project, evaluate and interpret the output variables,  discuss wise and unwise use of the reanalysis data, critique examples in the literature, learn how to construct various types of maps using the website tools and apply them to student's topical research areas (hydroclimatology, dendroclimatology, etc.), and explore and appraise each other's maps.

Synoptic Dendroclimatology Module (GEOS/WS M 595e Colloquium)  (1 unit)

Linkage of tree-ring information to atmospheric circulation patterns.  This 5-week module will follow Module 3a.  Synoptic Dendroclimatology is a subfield of dendrochronology which uses dated tree rings to study and reconstruct present and past climate from the viewpoint of the climate's constituent weather components. This class will build on the principles of synoptic circulation patterns developed in the "Synoptic Sense" module, link these principles to those of dendroclimatology, and explore ways in which these two branches of scientific inquiry can be integrated.  [prerequisite: Module 3a. Synoptic Sense]

College Teaching Practicum (GEOG 695c) (1 unit)

This 1-unit course is designed to introduce graduate students to pedagogical theory, skills, practice and technological tools that can be implemented in the college classroom and other learning environments. Through short readings, discussions, demonstrations and hands-on practice, we will address such issues as: learning philosophies, cognitive skills, learning styles, course design logistics, learner-centered activities, assessment tools, teaching technology, classroom dynamics, and ethics.  Students will design and critique their own course materials and gain practical experience in presenting their material in a collegial setting. 

Presentation & Display of Analytical Results (Geos 595e Colloquium)   (1 unit)

The theme of this semester's 1 unit Current Research Colloquium is "Presentation & Display of Analytical Results"   The course will revolve around the interesting (and sometimes controversial) views of Dr. Edward Tufte on the visualization and presentation of scientific information. Tufte is a Professor Emeritus at Yale University where he taught courses in statistical evidence and analytical design.  Currently he writes, designs, and self-publishes books on analytical design. Tufte's work will provide a framework for the course's overall goal of designing, critiquing, and improving oral and visual presentations of students' analytical research results.

Journal Club (GEOS/WS M 595e)  (1 unit)

Discussion of recent journal articles related to tree rings and climate (1 unit).  Cross-listed in the Geosciences Department and the Watershed Management Department)

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