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Teaching and outreach

Teaching is a central part of David's work at MIT, and in his classes he works to build inclusive, learner-centered classroom environments that promote active learning. David's main teaching role is as the director of Terrascope, a first-year learning community at MIT. He also regularly teaches the course "The History of Earth's Climate". Lab members also engage in outreach activities to share our work with students and local community members.


Solving Complex Problems (12.000)

In this project-based course, a group of approximately 50 first-year students takes on an interdisciplinary challenge related to climate and sustainability. The course gives students an unusual amount of ownership over their work, supported by a large group of undergraduate teaching fellows and a group of 40+ alumni mentors. At the end of the term, students present their proposal in a public event before a panel of experts. Students from the class also have the opportunity to participate in a spring break field experience to engage with the year's problem first-hand. Co-taught with expert instructor Ari Epstein.

The History of Earth's Climate (12.377/12.707)

This course explores the geologic record of climate change over the whole of Earth history. We examine methods of reconstructing past climates, general features of past climates and climate changes, processes and feedbacks involved in the climate system’s response to forcings, and model-based explorations of past climates. The course includes two field trips to examine the geologic record of climate change in local settings.


We share our research in a variety of ways. Group members have taken part in the Cambridge Science Festival, the New England Aquarium, WGBH Science Cafe, TEDx, and other community engagement events. School visits can be arranged through our department's LINK-12 program and its partnership with 826 Boston.

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