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Teaching

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I teach a variety of classes in the Program in Earth Systems, the Department of Earth System Science, and the Program in Human Biology. I have collected here course descriptions as they appear in the Stanford Bulletin, some other contextual material where appropriate, syllabi, and some other assorted hand-outs.

For classes where students are expected to write term papers, I have assembled a style guide, which may be of interest. Also, based on my experience with the NSF Cultural Anthropology Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant Panel, I have written up some notes on writing an NSF proposal. These notes are primarily stylistic. Some day, I will write some more substantive notes based on the advice I give my students. I also have opinions about the kinds of courses that students should take.

In 2018-2019, I organized (along with Elspeth Ready and Ashley Hazel) a Workshop on Social Network Analysis for Anthropologists and the American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual meeting. Following a pandemic hiatus, I will be offering this workshop again in 2023 at the (renamed) American Association of Biological Anthropologists annual meeting.

During the height of pandemic social distancing, I organized a weekly virtual seminar on life history theory. Notes and accompanying videos are available on the GitHub page, life history in ten papers. I plan to expand this in the near future (stay tuned).

From 2005-2015, I co-organized workshops on formal demography that drew mostly Ph.D. students from NICHD-supported population centers throughout the country. A selection of my somewhat ancient lecture notes are posted below. Other material, alas, seems to have been lost in the various reorganizations of the Stanford web servers.

Courses

  • ESS 185/Earthsys 183: Adaptation

    Adaptation is the process by which organisms or societies become better suited to their environments. In this class, we will explore three distinct but related notions of adaptation.
  • Life History Theory in Ten Papers

    Life history theory is the branch of evolutionary biology that attempts to understand patterns of investment in growth, reproduction, and survival across the life cycle. It is the theory that explains the major transitions that mark individual organisms'
  • Demography Workshops

    Shripad Tuljapurkar and I organized summer workshops way back in the day. I've collected some of my lecture notes here. They're old now, but mostly still relevant.
  • ESS 86N: The Most Rational People in the World

    Humans, broadly construed, emerged as bipedal apes in the African mixed savanna-woodlands approximately two million years ago. From humble beginnings, humans have gone on to be become the ecologically dominant species in most biomes and grown to a global
  • ESS 109/209: Biological and Social Networks

    This course introduces the analysis of social and biological networks with a focus on field data collected by interdisciplinary environmental and health scientists.
  • Earthsys/Humbio 114: Global Change and Emerging Infectious Disease

    This is a lecture course on the changing epidemiological environment, with particular attention to the ways in which anthropogenic environmental changes are altering the ecology of infectious disease transmission, thereby promoting their re-emergence as a
  • ESS 363: Demography and Life History Theory

    Life history theory is the branch of evolutionary biology that attempts to understand patterns of investment in growth, reproduction, and survival across the life cycle. It is the theory that explains the major transitions that mark individual organisms'