Teaching experience

Teaching and mentoring experience

As a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Virginia Tech, in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences (Dept of Fish and Wildlife Conservation) and the Department of Biology I have helped teach the following courses and labs:

Instructor or facilitator

[5] Co-instructor for a two-day workshop: Introduction to quantitative research methods: three statistical paradigms and R (2014), University of Pretoria

Developed and led a two-day seminar on quantitative research methods involving frequentist, Bayesian, and Information Theoretic approaches. The workshop was attended by 7 faculty members, 2 post-doctoral fellows, 6 PhD students, and 11 MSc students from 9 departments and units at the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, University of Pretoria.

[4] Instructor for a weekly workshop (6 weeks): Introduction to basic quantitative research methods (2014), University of Pretoria

Developed and led a weekly seminar for 6 weeks on basic quantitative research methods. The workshop was attended by 6 faculty members from the Endocrine Research Laboratory and the Department of Anatomy and Physiology at the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, University of Pretoria.

[3] Co-facilitator for FIW 6004: Graduate Seminar in Quantitative Ecology (2012), Virginia Tech

Weekly seminar on quantitative topics including: probability distributions, model selection and information theory, likelihood theory, Bayesian inference, generalized linear mixed models, spatially explicit capture-recapture models, integrated population models, circuit theory, model validation, state-space models. The seminar included two faculty members, five Ph.D. students and five M.Sc. students.

[2] Lab instructor for Biol 4434: Mammalogy (2012), Virginia Tech

Responsible for three 3-hour laboratory sessions per week (over a 15-week semester), two course writing assignments, and a field excursion for a total of 68 senior-level (4th-year) students.

[1] Lab instructor for Biol 4434: Mammalogy (2011), Virginia Tech

Responsible for three 3-hour laboratory sessions per week (over a 15-week semester), and course writing assignments for a total of 59 senior-level (4th-year) students.

Teaching Assistant

[8] FIW 2314: Wildlife Biology (Physiological Ecology) (Spring 2013), Virginia Tech

[7] FIW 2314: Wildlife Biology (Physiological Ecology) (Spring 2012), Virginia Tech

[6] FIW 4434: Wildlife Habitat Ecology and Mgt (Spring 2008), Virginia Tech

[5] Biol 4434: Mammalogy (Fall 2005), Virginia Tech

[4] FIW 4434: Wildlife Habitat Ecology and Mgt (Spring 2005), Virginia Tech

[3] FIW 2324: Wildlife Field Biology (Spring 2004), Virginia Tech

[2] FIW 4314: Conservation Biology (Fall 2003), Virginia Tech

[1] FIW 4414: Population Ecology (Spring 2003), Virginia Tech

Short courses taught

[4] Introduction to R (2011)
Developed and taught a 4-day seminar on R, for the Dept of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Tech

[3] Home Range Analysis Seminar (2005)
Developed and taught a 1-day Home Range Analysis seminar for the Dept of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Tech

[2] GPS proficiency course (2008)
Developed and taught several short courses on GPS proficiency for staff of Botswana Dept of Wildlife and National Parks, Kasane, Botswana

[1] GIS Training Seminar (2007)
Developed and taught a 2-day GIS seminar for staff of the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Carnivore Conservation Group (EWT CCG), Johannesburg, South Africa

Guest Speaker

[8] Laver, P. 2015. Environmental health and monitoring. In NLB 783: Wildlife Management (Honours), University of Pretoria

[7] Laver, P. 2012. Disease ecology of mammals. In Biol 4434: Mammalogy (Senior-level course), Virginia Tech

[6] Laver, P. 2012. Introduction to disease modelling in R. In FiW 5984: Advanced Topics in Disease Ecology (Graduate course), Virginia Tech

[5] Laver, P. 2011. Mammalian diseases and disease ecology. In Biol 4434: Mammalogy (Senior-level course), Virginia Tech

[4] Laver, P. 2011. Social behaviour of mammals. In Biol 4434: Mammalogy (Senior-level course), Virginia Tech

[3] Laver, P. 2005. Kernel Density Estimation. In For 5264: GIS Applications in Natural Resource Management (Graduate course), Virginia Tech

[2] Laver, P. 2003. Cape Floral Kingdom — Endangered endemism: A case study of ecoregional planning in an ecological and cultural mosaic. In FiW 4314: Conservation Biology (Senior-level course), Virginia Tech

[1] Laver, P. 2003. Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem — Poverty in paradise: A case study of conservation and development in East Africa. In FiW 4314: Conservation Biology (Senior-level course), Virginia Tech

University-teaching training

[2] FiW 6004 TS: Pedagogy for Natural Resource Sciences (2011), Virginia Tech

[1] GRAD 5004: Graduate Teaching Assistant Training Workshop (2011), Virginia Tech

I have also given a number of invited lectures and short field courses in 2008, 2009 and 2010 to the Botswana Program of the School for International Training (SIT). During that time I mentored eight SIT undergraduate students on month-long field projects and an additional undergraduate student on an independent summer field experience.

In my capacity as the founding research manager of the Mogalakwena Research Centre I taught basic literacy and language skills to staff members of the Mogalakwena River Lodge. I mentored a number of undergraduate students on summer field projects and provided institutional support and mentoring in securing field projects for further students. One of those projects was fieldwork for an MSc thesis which later expanded to a PhD dissertation.

With the Center for African Resources: Animals, Communities and Land use (CARACAL) I assisted Chobe Safari Lodge with their training program for unemployed youths who were given basic training in work related to the tourist industry. From 2009 to 2011 I mentored 64 trainees in basic wildlife research skills, data collection, behavioral observation, map interpretation and wildlife-related public/guest relations. During this time, I also gave a number of invited talks to primary school pupils at Chobe River College.

I have conducted a two-day GIS course for the Carnivore Conservation Programme of the Endangered Wildlife Trust (South Africa) and a one-day GPS course for staff of the Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks.

In my capacity as a branch chairperson for BirdLife Botswana I have given numerous educational talks on conservation, monitoring and bird watching. I have led bird identification training and training workshops for BirdLife Botswana’s national monitoring program, “Botswana Tickbird” which is part of Birdlife International and RSPB‘s “citizen science” global monitoring initiative.