Teaching

Current teaching: Wageningen University & Research

Period 1, 2022: RHI50806: Sustainability and Resilience in History (cotaught with Pim de Zwart)

How did the Maya civilization collapse? Why did the bubonic plague kill over one third of 14th century European population? How long can current rates of global population be continued? This course introduces students to the fascinating field of environmental history, focusing on the tensions between economic growth, resource scarcity and environmental degradation in the distant past as well as in present-day societies. The course pays ample attention to the transition from pre-industrial to industrial modes of production and the environmental consequences thereof – the making of the Anthropocene. We draw analogies from the collapse of ancient civilizations to contemporary environmental problems, such as global warming and mineral resource depletion. The course also specifically addresses the various strategies that historical civilizations have developed in order to survive climate change, deforestation, soil erosion or other ecological threats to human livelihood. Finally, the course addresses the emergence of present-day environmental consciousness in the wake of modern urbanization, industrialization and unprecedented demographic growth.

ENP-23806 Sustainability Transitions: Concepts, Issues and Indicators (cotaught with Mary Greene, Maartje van der Knaap and Joeri Willet)

Knowledge of and capability to work with sustainability concepts, indicators and issues belong to the core competences to be obtained in the environmental sciences. Sustainability is a concept that can be linked to many domains in society. This course is tailored towards two of the major domains: water and energy systems. Energy and water systems are crucial for human subsistence and of major environmental relevance. This course deals with the major transformations (transitions) that are needed within water and energy systems to reach sustainability. The course entails concepts of sustainability and transitions, applied to water and energy production, supply, distribution and consumption. It presents indicators for the assessment of long-term strategies towards sustainable water and energy systems and shows and discusses historical and present issues in energy and water technology and management in the Netherlands.

Previous teaching

[Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU] POGO8016 – The Economic Way of Thinking (Semester 1, 2022) (Lecturer and convenor)

Economic way of thinking examines how people make choices under conditions of scarcity and systems of production, consumption, and distribution. It also examines the effects of government policy and actions on market outcomes. The economic way of thinking provides a decision-making framework for individuals, firms and policy-makers. This course aims to provide students with a solid understanding of basic (micro)economic principles and the ability to apply those tools and ideas. Topics include comparative advantage, consumer and firm decision-making, supply and demand, market structure, international trade, and market failure.

‘Economics for Non-Economists’ (Week-long short course, Phnom Penh) (cotaught with Shiro Armstrong)

A week-long short course introducing civil servants in Cambodia to basic concepts in microeconomics. See press coverage here

Cambridge University (2020)

Part II, Historical Tripos: Paper 29 The History of Africa from 1800 to the Present Day – guest lecturer

I gave a guest lecture to undergraduate students on the economic history of post-independence Africa, with a particular focus on Tanzania.

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