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  Katie Monsen

Katie Monsen

Continuing Lecturer


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Social Sciences Division

Environmental Studies Department
Rachel Carson College

Continuing Lecturer


Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems
Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning (CITL)


Agroecology and Agriculture

Nat Sci 2 Main Building
Room 471

Fall 2023: Mon 10:45-11:45 (in-person), Weds 1:30-2:30 (Zoom), and by appt. (see ENVS website)

Environmental Studies

Katie Monsen is a lecturer in Environmental Studies at the University of California Santa Cruz, where she teaches a range of  upper- and lower-division courses from the introductory Physical & Chemical Environment to the finale of the Capstone in Environmental Problem Solving, as well as Freshwater and Wetland Ecology, the Agroecology Practicum (with special foci such as irrigation and in urban agriculture), and Agriculture and Climate Change. Katie also teaches a multidisciplinary introduction to sustainability studies in the department of Electrical Engineering, as well as in the new sustainability minor.

Katie's primary goals in teaching are to help her students take a macro-view of complex problems, understanding our environmental challenges -- from freshwater to food systems to energy supply -- as rooted in both natural and social contexts, and to understand that solutions are complex and require creative, flexible thinking. She gets her students outside as much as possible, working with their hands to develop richer understanding, and works to help students overcome fear of math and to create more dynamic presentations. Katie's recent writing projects include an analysis of agroecology and food system teaching methods and lectures on soil biology and chemistry for a sustainable agriculture curriculum.

Katie earned her PhD in Environmental Studies at UCSC, looking at nitrogen dynamics in organic agroecosystems on California's Central Coast. She earned an MS in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at Iowa State University, where she researched spatial patterns in remnant tallgrass prairie, to assist with restoration metrics. Her BA in Biology with an emphasis in Chemistry is from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington.

ENVS 133 Agroecology Practicum
ENVS 130A/L Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems
ENVS 167 Freshwater & Wetland Ecology
ENVS 170 Agriculture & Climate Change
ENVS 190 Capstone Course: Environmental Problem Solving
Rachel Carson College Garden seminar
ENVS 23 Physical & Chemical Environment
ENVS 166 Agroecosystem Analysis & Watershed Management

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