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315 470 6806 (office)
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315 470 6934 (fax)
I teach at the interface of physiology, ecology and evolution. Below are principal courses I teach each year. Others I teach as needs or interest arise. These are described below.

I'm very much a traditional teacher. I believe we have known how to teach effectively for more than two millennia, and little has come along in the interim that much improves things. I use the blackboard a lot, even though my chalkmanship and artistic skills are atrocious. I'm not a showman in the classroom, nor do I pretend to be. I prefer to engage minds, not to distract or entertain them. I prefer my classes to be conversations about biology, so I ask lots of questions and expect lots of questions in return. I prefer to treat students as adults who can be trusted to take responsibility for their own education, not as children whose education I must be responsible for. I think education is about wisdom and knowledge rather than grades or performance on tests. I hate giving examinations and grades, but if I must give them, they should be rigorous, demanding and will honestly reflect what's been learned.

Principal courses

EFB 462/662 Animal Physiology: Environmental and Ecological (3 credit hours). Three hours of lecture, discussion, and/or exercises. An introduction into the physiology of adaptation to the physical and biotic environments, including animal energetics, biology of body size, and physiological constraints on animal life history. Fall.

EFB 500 Deserts of Southern Africa (5 credit hours). A three week field excursion exploring the various desert biomes of southern Africa (Namibia and South Africa). Offered as demand warrants: Winter break (December-January).

Special courses (current)

Spring 2009

Intensive Field Research Experience in Namibia

This course is an intensive semester-long research experience for undergraduates and beginning graduate students. Students will join Dr Turner for a month of field work at his research site in northern Namibia, followed up by an on-campus period of analysis and write-up.

This course involves signing up for 12 credits of Research Problems in Environmental and Forest Biology. Admission to the course will be selective. Normally, participatio is limited to those students who have completed the required courses for their degrees, and who can devote an entire semester to this experience without jeopardizing the timely completion of their degrees.

To be considered for this course, students must apply to Dr Turner no later than 12 November 2009. Applications are available in pdf format or as a Word document.

For further information, please contact Dr Turner.


Special courses (past)

ESF Global Campus in Africa,
, 2001-2003
Animal Physiology: Organismal, 1997-1999.
Environmental Physiology, 1992-1994.
Animal Physiological Ecology, 1992-1996.
Functional Design of Organisms, 1997-1999.
Herpetology, 1994.
Animal Physiology Laboratory, 1997-1999.
Principles of Zoology, 1991-1996.
Animal Physiology, 1992-1996.

Seminar on “The Problem of Biological Design”,
Seminar on “Do you believe in Gaia?”, 1999-2000.
Seminar on “Environmentalism and Freedom”, 1995.
Biology Freshman Seminar, 1993-1996.
Seminar on “Physiological Ecology of Climate Change”, 1991.