Laid back, enjoyable. If you hate the humanities/ are a STEM major this seminar is for you. Brian is so much fun, super understanding and great to be around. This is an easier class, even though there's the average workload for an english class you won't feel burdened and can do things minutes before class begins and be fine. If youre just looking for an easy seminar because they're required or simply care that earth is dying and want to discuss it take this. Cons: Honestly you won't learn too much aside from content found in the million papers we read. Takes forever to grade, only got one paper back during the semester. And if you go to office hours he isn't very critical.
One of the best classes I had this semester! We mainly read articles and books about early and modern environmental movements. The readings assigned were very interesting and sometimes you can get away with not reading. Workload is not high and definitely recommend!!
Professor Mailloux really doesn't deserve that silver nugget in my opinion... Mailloux is a little bit of a loony in the sense that you don't really know what is going through his mind. His class is pretty inconsistent, although he does come prepared with a schedule of what we should accomplish. It was just really... boring. I was expecting some great and challenging content about Sustainability, but instead we talked about the most basic and simplistic topics. The feedback he gives back on essays is very poor. You have to go meet with him because he doesn't like giving written comments. I have never left his office knowing what I should change in order to improve my paper. Don't expect to making any progress in writing, no speaking, under his watch. I feel bad being so harsh in my review, but I really felt like this class was a waste of my time.
Big Data with Python This is one of the most useful classes I have taken at Columbia. Brian approaches this class as a way to learn practical skills for data analysis and graphing for environmental science. He makes compsci ideas approachable for someone with no background in programing. As a professor, he is super approachable and helpful.
The topic of this class is extremely interesting, but the class is poorly organized. Brian seemed to decide what we would do in two week increments. The plus side of this is that he is very open to suggestions for where to place focus. He's very friendly, a fun guy to be around, incredibly laid back. Sometimes in class we would discuss a scientific paper or pop science book. Sometimes we would workshop some simple high school chemistry type problems with an ecotox application. Sometimes he would show pictures of chemical treatment plants, or computer models of air pollution. For a while we each did a short presentation on a chemical and how it behaves in the environment. At the time I thought the laid back nature was teaching me less than jam-packed courses, but looking back I remember more key concepts from this class much more demanding classes like Intro Bio. You get lots of chances to talk about the material with your classmates, which I think is lacking in the sciences. If you are a non-sciency Environmental person, this class could be a good opportunity to get a little more quantitative while learning very policy-relevant information about how pollutants travel. If you have a good science background, particularly if you were strong in General Chemistry, the problem solving will be overly simplistic for you.
I have no idea why this prof has a silver nugget. He clearly has some kind of social anxiety issues or organizational problems that make it really difficult for him to teach. As much as I want to sympathize with him, he simply can't finish his thoughts coherently, answer tough questions or challenges during the lectures, or respond in a timely manner to emails. When he gets nervous, he stammers or talks with his eyes closed and doesn't put words together in an understandable order. His Courseworks page is littered with unnecessary reading assignments and video links with little delineation between what is required and what isn't. He is always "around" for office hours, but says often that he won't be in his office but that you can always look around and find him. The most frustrating part about Brian's communication problems is that the course material is not difficult. What is taught in this class could be taught in a week, and the final is 75% common sense. The first question on it this year asked what you should do if you arrive to a town to do a water sample, but the land owner is insistent upon having tea with you first. It felt like fifth grade. If you're genuinely interested in health, do not take this class. If you already know basic information about clean water and its role in health, you will learn absolutely nothing. The first semester is spent discussing different types of wells, and how to use formulas to measure how quickly water moves underground. The second part is spent on a presentation that you'll give about a bacteria or virus that is usually waterborne, and then you do a group presentation where you literally just summarize a community health report paper.
I took Bryan's Water, Sanitation, and Health class last spring. I REALLY enjoyed it. He knows so much about the material and is extremely passionate about the subject. He is available to students and really wants to help you learn the material. I would highly recommend this class. We had a midterm, a couple of problem sets, a hands-on homework, final exam, individual presentation, and a group presentation. He doesn't grade harshly, and his exams were very fair and only covered what we talked about in class. No need to buy the books for this class as he will lecture you on everything you need to know.
I really really really enjoyed Brian's Environmental Measurements class. He is VERY willing to work with students to make sure that they understand the material. He is very available, for example his office hours one day were for about 6 hours straight! That being said, the class is a lot of work but nothing too terrible. There are weekly lab reports with one larger lab report towards the end of class. There is no final exam, just a five minute presentation on the data from our individual experiments. I highly recommend this class.
Brian is a great professor. He is really willing to work with his students and make sure that they really understand what he's teaching. He also really makes an effort to be available outside of class and gives out his cell phone number to students. That being said, this class is INTENSE. It is SO much work. The work is really, really interesting, but the lab reports are absolutely killer. Do not leave them to the last minute. Just don't. This is a great class to take if you're interested in the Hudson River, estuaries, and aquatic ecosystems, but the workload is significant.
Brian is great. Just the fact that he insists on you calling him Brian (not Prof/Dr/Mr/etc Mailloux) is a breath of fresh air. His lectures can sometimes be all over the place if he's having a bad day. But he usually goes over the previous days material during class and then can clarify things. He's great one on one...so definitely take advantage of his office hours. Plus, he's one of the few professors I've had here that responds quickly and thoroughly to e-mails. Take a class with him. But be patient. He's relatively new here (I think this is his second year) however by the 2nd or 3rd week you won't regret taking his class.