Teaching


ASTR 599: Communicating Science to the Public Effectively

This graduate course focuses on developing effective techniques for sharing scientific research with non-specialists.  We focus on development of sound-bytes, elevator talks, accessible visualizations and story telling.  Students spend time exploring their voice, crafting their message, and telling their story through improvisation and group discussion.  The product of this course is a 30-minute, engaging public presentation.

We at the Engage Program hope that other universities and colleges will offer a similar course to their graduate students.  To make this a relatively easy task, we have made our course materials available online.

ASTR 190: Modern Topics for Non-Science Majors -- Astronomy and Astrobiology

An introductory course on the new science of astrobiology, which is the study of the past, present and future of life in the Universe. An emphasis is placed on the role of astronomy in the search for microbial and intelligent life beyond Earth. Select topics include the history of life on Earth, the search for life in the Solar System, extrasolar planets, and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.  Course materials are freely available via email request, and were previously hosted at the UW Astronomy Department website.  

ASTBIO 115: Astrobiology -- Life in the Universe

An introduction to the science of astrobiology designed for non-science, liberal arts majors.

If you are looking for hands-on, astrobiology-themed lab activities, please see the Astrobiology Activities Manual that I co-authored, assembled, and edited.  Some of the activities need updating, which I'll be sure to do next time I teach this course.