My teaching has included courses across the curriculum in astronomy and astrophysics, as well as numerous physics courses. At Pomona College, I taught introductory courses in astronomy such as Archaeoastronomy and World Cosmology, Cosmic Origins, and Introduction to Astronomy. Advanced courses included our Astrophysics seminars, and some physics courses such as Junior Lab, Senior Seminar and Electricity and Magnetism. I always like taking students out under the stars, and I am now enjoying teaching here at Soka University!
At Yale-NUS College I was coordinator for the Common Curriculum Course known as Foundations of Science. The Foundations of Science (FOS) course was offered at Yale-NUS College from 2014 through 2016 as a year-long introduction to science. Our course was designed around 6-week “disciplinary case studies” that mixed authentic learning and student-designed research questions with a “Grand Challenge” exercise. Also at Yale-NUS I had the change to teach an observational astronomy course where students operated a remote telescope in Chile and we visited the Thai National Observatory (NARIT) as a field trip.
I am very interested in experiential learning, and this has included leading “Desert Skies” trips at Pomona to nearby dark sky sites with students, and Orientation Adventure trips. At Yale-NUS College, I had the chance to help develop numerous experiential learning trips such as the Week 7 trips “Cosmology and Culture of the Chola” (with Barney Bate and Sarah Weiss), “The Ancient and Modern Chinese Universe (with Charlotte Evans), and a trip involving faculty from Yale-NUS and the Claremont Colleges known as “Envirolabs Asia” that explored Borneo and the interdisciplinary aspects of oil palm cultivation, indigenous rights and the Miri River watershed. The Soka University curriculum is ideal for experiential learning, and so in my first year here at Soka University, I will be teaching a Learning Cluster in Archaeoastronomy and World Cosmology – and will be looking at the ways that the universe has been interpreted by civilizations and cultures from around the world.
At Soka University I have taught two courses – one a Learning Cluster on Archaeoastronomy and World Cosmology, offered in Jan. 2018, and the other a course entitled “Earth’s Cosmic Context” or Astronomy 120, which I have offered since Spring 2018 as a 1-semester introductory course in astronomy. The course explores extrasolar planets, and our context within the larger universe of planets and stars. From the class, students can appreciate the vast expanses of the physical universe and the placement of our small and fragile earth within our galaxy and universe. Now that we have a new observatory at Soka University, I also include an evening laboratory for students that trains them in how to find constellations and stars, to observe planets and nebulae, and to take their own images of galaxies and star clusters.