Teaching by Dr. Fuentes

Regardless of the specific discipline, audience, or setting, Dr. Fuentes teaching philosophy is based on Confucius’s proverb “Tell me and I will forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I will understand.” She is a true believer that knowledge gained through active participation is knowledge that will stay with an individual and that the most significant learning occurs in situations that are both meaningful and realistic. Beyond striving to ensure that students learn the fundamental content of subjects and courses, Dr. Fuentes aims to facilitate the development of transferable skills, such as critical thinking, effective communication, and problem-solving inside and outside the classroom.

OCE 5930

Science Writing and Communication

OCE 5930

The goal of this course is to develop thinking, organizational and storytelling skills which will improve student’s written and oral communication abilities. During the course students will work to establish realistic and productive writing habits, remove some of the intimidation that can lead to procrastination and writers’ block, ponder the ways that the scientific method is abused or ignored, consider structures or templates for different sections of proposals/manuscripts, discuss ways in which to increase messaging and impact, and develop editing and reviewing skills. Additionally, students will learn the elements of effective presentations and how to communicate their science to a variety of audiences, including dealing with the media and developing an online profile. [Fall 2020]

Introduction to Environmental Science


his course provides an overview of the key themes in the environmental sciences and covers a broad range of topics including the unique Earth, biogeochemical cycles, ecosystems, biodiversity, climate change, human population, fossil fuels, energy alternatives, agricultural and water issues, waste management, environmental health as well as an introduction to environmental policy and economics. By the end of the class students will be able to describe the relationships between components of the natural world and the effect of the built world upon it. Be able to analyze environmental problems and identify the risks caused by them and have a basic knowledge of hazardous materials. Students will understand basic concepts of air and water pollution, especially nutrient pollution and be able to describe solid and liquid waste disposal and treatment issues. In addition, the course addresses the scientific method and reasoning. Students will demonstrate the ability to think critically and cogently about causal relationships with scientific reasoning, assess previous experimentation and published scientific results and critically examine and evaluate scientific observation, hypothesis or model construction. Finally, students will use scientific perspectives to evaluate contemporary problems facing society [SPRING 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021].

EV 1001

OC 4930

Marine Megafauna Ecology and Conservation

OCE 4930

This course will introduce students to marine mammals, sea turtles, seabirds, large invertebrates, and sharks – collectively known as marine megafauna. It will cover topics on their evolution, general anatomy and physiology, ecology and population biology, and distribution and movement. Using marine megafauna examples we will discuss the interdisciplinary nature of marine conservation, and how science and research, societal and cultural values, and law and policy each play a role in marine conservation and management. The classes will connect students with real-world case studies and provide insights into approaches and technologies used to study marine megafauna [FALL 2015, 2016, 2019, SPRING 2021].

Systematic Conservation Planning

OCE 5930

This course will introduce students to the fundamental concepts and the processes involved in systematic conservation planning (SCP). It will cover topics on: frameworks and stages of SCP; decision support tools available for spatial and resource prioritization; expert elicitation and stakeholder engagement; socioeconomic considerations for planning and implementation of management strategies; uncertainties and limitations of SCP; and impact evaluation [FALL 2017].

OCE 5930