Shimon C. Anisfeld

Senior Lecturer and Research Scientist in Water Resources and Environmental Chemistry

Teaching Statement

  • FES 60125, Case Studies in Water Resources, last taught Spring 2008 - Syllabus
  • FES 61016, Water Resource Management, last taught Fall 2006 Syllabus
  • FES 62017, Coastal Ecosystems:  Natural Processes and Anthropogenic Impacts, last taught Fall 2007 - Syllabus
  • FES 66008, Organic Pollutants in the Environment, last taught Fall 2007 - Syllabus

  My teaching at Yale over the last 10 years has covered 3 areas of environmental science: 

Environmental Organic Chemistry 
My course in Organic Pollutants in the Environment covers the environmental fate of the important classes of organic pollutants (e.g., petroleum, PCB’s, dioxins, etc.).  The course is a mixture of a traditional engineering fate-and-transport course and a more descriptive discussion of the important issues in understanding and managing organic pollutants.  We cover both the fundamental physical-chemical processes that govern environmental fate and how those processes play out in the real world (including a number of case studies).

Coastal Ecosystems and Nutrients 
My course on Coastal Ecosystems:  Natural Processes and Anthropogenic Impacts is an introduction to the ecology of coastal ecosystems (primarily tidal marshes and estuaries) and the stresses on those ecosystems.  It covers both basic ecological questions (e.g., controls on marsh primary production) as well as applied, management-oriented subjects (e.g., impacts of eutrophication).  In addition, I have co-taught (with Pete Raymond, Rick Burroughs, and Susan Clark) advanced courses on the coastal nutrient problem, in which we have examined social and decision processes in managing nutrients as well as biophysical processes. 

Water Resource Management 
My Water Resource Management course examines water problems from a variety of angles, and attempts to provide students with tools to better manage water resources.  We cover issues ranging from water scarcity to drinking water access to ecosystem health, and look at scales ranging from local to global.  I try to make sure my students have an understanding both of the specific issues involved in these water problems and of broader tools for assessing and balancing the needs of different users (both human and ecosystem).  I have won 5 awards for teaching excellence at FES.  I believe that this is a reflection of my approach to teaching, which involves trying to see the material from the perspective of the students, in order to understand how they can most easily and deeply assimilate the content and skills that I want to give them.