My teaching philosophy focuses on stimulating a learning process where students perceive the subject matter to be directly related to their future careers. To achieve that, I include community-based projects in some of my classes. I also include hands-on tutorials, and assignments that allow undergraduate and graduate students to connect their knowledge to scenarios that depict real situations.

Undergraduate Classes

CRP 251 – Fundamentals of GIS
ISU Catalog Description: Fundamentals of the concepts, models, functions and operations of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Principals of spatial problems, spatial questions and hypotheses and their solutions based on spatial data, GIS tools and techniques. Integration of concepts and applications through lectures and facilitated labs. Applications from a variety of areas including design; physical, social, and human science; engineering; agriculture; business and medicine, landscape architecture, architecture, urban planning, geology, forestry, biology, and ecology.

  • When teaching this course, I invited a variety of guest speakers, including the GIS Manager of the City of Des Moines, a State GIS Specialist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Geospatial Coordinator in the Office of Maintenance of the Iowa Department of Transportation.

CRP 331 – Professional Practice Seminar
ISU Catalog Description: Preparation for working as a planning professional; development of resume and portfolio; discussion of professional ethics and expectations of employers and clients; presentations from planning professionals, and discussion of the range of career choices within the planning profession.

CRP 391 – Field Travel
ISU Catalog Description: Observation of professional practice and community or regional problems and issues.

  • Cities visited: Minneapolis, Kansas City, Chicago, Portland, Dallas, Baltimore.
  • Some highlights included: in Portland, the City of Portland Planning and Sustainability Department, the private firm Alta, and the Metro (a regional planning agency); and in Dallas, Studio Outside Landscape Architecture and BRW Vision Projects Company, among other exciting stops.

Graduate and Mixed Classes

CRP 532 – Community Planning Studio
ISU Catalog Description: Comprehension and analysis of various geographic contexts pertinent to community planning and the use of planning theory, tools and techniques in an applied setting. Process of making a community plan: historical patterns, current conditions and strategies for planning.

CRP 452/552 – Geographic Data Management and Planning Analysis
ISU Catalog Description: Extensive coverage of geo-relational database concept and design, GIS database creation and maintenance, geographic data manipulation and analysis. GIS output generation and geographic data presentation. Laboratory emphasizes practical applications and uses of GIS.

CRP 460/560 – Social Justice and Planning
ISU Catalog Description: Investigation of the topic of social justice as it relates to the challenge of planning more socially just urban societies, emphasizing the importance of social justice issues to planning in a globalized world. Includes a range of issues and case studies of local social justice initiatives, both US and global. Students will complete individual service learning projects as part of the course requirement.

CRP 564 – Introduction to Analytical Methods for Planning
ISU Catalog Description: Applications of analytical methods in planning with emphasis on the collection, description, analysis, presentation, and interpretation of planning data. Introduction to descriptive statistics. Sources of planning information and data including primary and secondary data types and sources. Demographic analysis, population projection techniques for planning at local and regional levels.

CRP 481/581 – Regional and State Planning
ISU Catalog Description: Analysis of theories, policies, and functions at the metropolitan, regional, and state levels with emphasis on area-wide governance structures and strategies for guiding development.

CRP 595 – Seminar in GIS Applications and Research
ISU Catalog Description: Discussion and demonstration of current GIS applications and research in multiple disciplines. Offered on a satisfactory-fail basis only.

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