Teaching

My teaching intends to help students become better equipped to read, write, think critically and creatively, act ethically, work independently and collaboratively, and help solve social and environmental problems. My research, teaching, and service are interconnected, and I use models such as service learning and community-based projects to help students learn practical skills in ways that that also address pressing social-environmental problems and community needs.

I teach courses on communication theory and method, including environmental communication, communication research methods, rhetorical ethnography, and interdisciplinary courses such as topics in sustainability science and communicating conservation. My teaching philosophy relies on an engaged approach and I use community-based and service learning models in most of my courses. My intention in all of my teaching is to help students become better equipped to read, write, think critically and creatively, act ethically, work independently and collaboratively, and help address social and environmental problems.

Here are current and recent courses with syllabus links and additional resources.

Undergraduate

Graduate

Here are some photos from adventures in engaged learning:

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Visiting the Great Works dam removal site to explore rhetorics of river restoration and collect aquatic insects to explore river health.
Sean Smith describes the Great Works dam removal site
Learning about Penobscot River hydrology with Professor Sean Smith.
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Visiting the Penobscot Nation’s Water Resources Program to learn about water monitoring and their cultural scientific approach.
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Reflecting on changing meanings and relationships with water and place.
Group at Leonards Mills
Visiting Leonard’s Mills to explore environmental communication related to Maine’s logging history.
Documenting Juniper Ridge
Documenting perspectives of the Juniper Ridge landfill.
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An early morning walk and nature journaling on campus trails.
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Developing sensory awareness through journaling.
Abby and Hannah purple glove high five
Learning about campus food waste by digging into compost.
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A field trip with the Penobscot Nation’s Water Resources Program.
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Graduate students visit the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve to learn about watershed-based collaborations and enjoy the ocean.
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Getting a sense of river restoration at the former Great Works dam site.
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Professor Sean Smith shows students tidal flow data in a lesson on river ecology and hydrology.
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Using biological metaphor to trace associations in complex cases of social and environmental justice.
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Finding stoneflies at the former Great Works dam site.
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Learning about research ethics through a case study of Gang Leader for a Day.
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Learning from aquatic insects about the health of the Penobscot River.
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Concept mapping communication research methods.