My teaching at Yale, in both the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the Department of English, teaches skills suited to writing for a wide audience.
My environmental writing seminar (FES 40002a, offered each fall) draws on strong work by such writers as Annie Dillard, Aldo Leopold, Elizabeth Kolbert, John McPhee, and Peter Matthiessen, as well as on models of writing on environmental topics that have appeared in such publications as Audubon, Atlantic, E—the Environmental Magazine, Sierra, and Smithsonian (all of which I have written for), among others. This course serves students with a wide range of goals, including seeking to enrich and shape public discourse as a scientist, a policy professional, or an environmental journalist.
Student work written originally for the seminar has appeared in a range of professional publications, including: Amicus Journal, Audubon, the Conservationist, E—the environmental magazine, Earth Island Journal, Explorers Journal, Grassroots Development, OnEarth, Pollution Engineering, Renewable Resources Journal, Sanctuary, Wyoming Wildlife, and a Sierra Club book (Lessons of the Rainforest). Students have followed this seminar with internships at E Magazine, OnEarth, and High Country News, and some have continued writing for publications including Orion, National Wildlife, and Natural History. Students in this seminar have averaged almost one award per year in the national student writing competition conducted by the Atlantic Monthly, including eight awards from 1997-2005 (when work from no other university received more than three awards). My teaching in 2004 received Yale’s DeVane medal, presented each year by Phi Beta Kappa to one member of the university’s active faculty.