I have taught many courses at the University of Arizona. Most are sponsored by the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. Others are offered through the UA Honors College, or in collaboration with the School of Natural Resources and the Environment or UA Biosphere 2.

See below for 2018 Field Ecology Summer Presession Course and for New! Biosphere 2 Science MOOC.


FIELD COURSE: Ecology & Natural History of the Sonoran Desert and Upper Gulf of California

Registration available in March 2018

Summer Presession 2018, May 15th to June 2nd

Link to Information and FAQs.



ECOL 463/563, UA Catalog Listing: Hands-on, field-based exploration of the Sonoran Desert, its Sky Islands, and the Upper Gulf of California. Students will be introduced to the ecological, taxonomic, and natural-history diversity of the region.  To accomplish this ecological Sense of Place immersion, we will conduct several small independent research projects, visit with topical experts, foray into some of the most beautiful and iconic portions of the desert southwest, and read about the important, exciting, and interesting science to come out of the area. Conservation and cultural context will be important sub-themes of the course. Prior to enrollment, students are expected to have the equivalent of a college-sophomore/junior-level background in ecology and evolutionary biology. Students should be prepared for, and able to participate in, desert & mountain hiking, camping, and boating. Contact instructor for more course details.

This 3-week course will be available for 6 credits. Link to Information and FAQs.

  • Students will be staying (double occupancy) at Biosphere 2 and the Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts & Oceans (CEDO) in Puerto Penasco, Sonora.
  • Students will also be camping atop Mt Lemmon in the Santa Catalina Mountains, in the Santa Rita Mountains, and near Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.
  • Instead of the traditional classroom model, we will be in the field hiking, observing, collecting data, and generating summaries of our findings. Expect to be challenged. You will learn a lot about ecology, Sonoran Desert natural and cultural history, and perhaps yourself.

Course Fee: $1250 - pays for on-course transportation, institutional visitor fees, lodging, and most meals plus

Presession Tuition  [all students pay in-state rates - see UA website] :

- Undergraduate 6 Credits, 2017 example: $2544 + $175.41 fee = $2719.41

- Graduate 6 Credits, 2017 example: $2844 + $175.41 fee = $3019.41



Biosphere 2 Science for the Future of Our Planet

A FREE Massive Open Online Course
Look for link on Coursera MOOC platform - course BEGINS March 12th, 2018
Instructors: Dr. Kevin Bonine and more than a DOZEN other scientist colleagues
Certificate of completion available, along with free annual membership to Biosphere 2
Course will repeat very ten weeks.

Take an incredible journey around Planet Earth and beyond in this free online course! From soils and plants, to oceans and rainforests, the Moon, Mars and much more, this is an exciting opportunity for anyone interested in science. Gain novel insights and understanding as you learn from a team of UA Biosphere 2 scientists and connect with other learners from around the world.

Module 1: Biosphere 2, an Icon of Possibilities
                 Dr. Joaquin Ruiz, UA VP for Innovation, Director of Biosphere 2, Dean of UA Science, Geoscientist
                 John Adams, Deputy Director, UA Biosphere 2
Module 2: Climate Disruption
                 Dr. Kevin Anchukaitis, Geography and UA Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research
                 Dr. David Frank, UA Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research
Module 3: The Science of Water Availability
                 Dr. Peter Troch, Director of Science at Biosphere 2; UA Hydrology
Module 4: Desert Plants, Climate, and Changing Landscapes
                 Dr. Larry Venable, UA Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Module 5: Rainforests in an Altered World
                 Dr. Joost Van Haren, Biosphere 2 and UA Honors
                 Dr. Scott Saleska, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Module 6: Sea Changes in our Marine Environment
                 Dr. Julia Cole, U. of Michigan; UA Biosphere 2 Marine Research
Module 7: Soil Science - Foundations & Implications
                 Dr. Rachel Gallery, UA School of Natural Resources and the Environment
                 Dr. Katerina Dontsova, UA Soil Water & Environmental Science; Biosphere 2
Module 8: Feeding the Future
                 Dr. Gene Giacomelli, UA Controlled Environment Agriculture Center
Module 9: Life and Resources in Space - -Should we go there?
                 Dr. Chris Impey, Associate Dean UA College of Science; UA Astronomy


UA Courses Taught 2002-2018

  • Introductory Biology II (ECOL 182R)
  • The Examined Life: Are Humans an Invasive Species (HNRS Colloquium 195I)
  • Environmental Biology (ECOL 206)
  • Sustainable Living (HNRS 295H)
  • Conservation Biology (ECOL 406R/506R)
  • Field Conservation Biology (ECOL 406L/506L)
  • Vertebrate Physiology (ECOL 437)
  • Ecology and Natural History of the Sonoran Desert and Upper Gulf of California (ECOL 463/563)
  • Sonoran Desert Discovery (ECOL 464/564)
  • Herpetology (ECOL 483/583)
  • Galapagos Marine Ecology (ECOL 496O/596O)

Other Relevant Courses & Workshops

  • Institute of Desert Ecology, Tucson Audubon Society, 2012
  • Amazon: Changing Identities on a Rainforest Frontier. Peruvian Faculty Field Institute for Experiential Education, National Collegiate Honors Council, 2009
  • Borders, Barriers, and Barrios. Arizona/Sonora Faculty Field Institute for Experiential Education, National Collegiate Honors Council, 2008