My teaching philosophy can be summed up simply as “hands-on”.
I teach graduate level courses in Satellite Remote Sensing, Geographic Information Systems, and Physical Climatology. Satellite Remote Sensing is an exciting field that is growing rapidly with new instruments and techniques. Therefore, the student must be well prepared with a solid understanding of the current state-of-the-art techniques and data sets in the field of remote sensing. I also teach a one credit course called Professional Development that helps the student write proposals, create resumes and vitae, establish career development goals, and develop other work-place skills.
There are several major goals in my teaching philosophy:
- Teach basic foundational concepts aided with interactive hands-on learning.
- Develop written and communication skills. Most of my classes require a presentation and a written report that hones writing skills for the students.
- Cultivate the ability to see important research directions in Atmospheric Sciences.
There are several methods I employ to teach students:
- I use simple repetitive hands-on exercises that make them experience success. Once this base is built, students work harder and are motivated to scale higher heights. The assignments increase in complexity and length slowly, and students are gradually introduced to real world problems in data processing and remote sensing.
- I encourage active participation in the learning process. Students are drawn into discussions on topics of relevance that enable them to learn better.
- I assign projects that make the students carry a concept from the beginning to the end with complete analysis. I also assign a written report to reinforce their understanding.
- I use journal papers to teach and encourage independent thinking in students. Students are taught how to read papers critically and how to evaluate for content and methodology.
- In my advanced Remote Sensing Class, I encourage students to do a research project that is of publishable quality. On more than one occasion, these projects have become peer-reviewed papers.
In summary, my basic goal is to teach students not only the foundations of the courses I instruct but also to prepare them for the work place.
Students have overwhelmingly supported this style of teaching by consistently giving me one of the highest student evaluation scores in the department for every course that I have taught.