Ratings for Harte, J
Based on 6 ratings for this instructor.
Comment: Overall, a very boring environmental science course. John Harte is the professor, and clearly knows so much about the environment, but has a hard time conveying that knowledge enthusiastically to his students. Lectures started to empty out around the 4th week, once people started to realize that his lectures were no real help for figuring out the problem sets. I didn't attend a single GSI-led discussion (they were 9 am on mondays...), but the notes were usually posted online afterward and were very helpful. The best resource in this class is definitely the textbook, which Harte wrote himself. Many of the problems on the problem sets were either taken from the book, or very similar in their solutions to a similar example problem in the book. The problem sets seemed to be graded very liberally however, as I'm sure I didn't do everything right but often times ended up with high 80s/low 90s on them, which was usually around where the average was. Exams were very easy if you write good notesheets and study the problem set/past exam solutions that were posted before each test.
Submitted May 18th, 2015
Comment: I don't think I've had a professor with such a large breadth of knowledge as Harte. He's a walking encyclopedia of environmental science. However, he struggles to answer questions that students have, and gives answers that tend to be too complicated. He also spends too much time on throwing out random numbers and facts rather than reinforcing the quantitative information that we need to do the problem sets. He isn't very accessible, because you have to sign up for office hours and you only get I believe 10 or 15 minutes with him (I never went, so hopefully someone else can clear this up). The problem sets are very difficult, but Harte's book helps. Usually, I was able to start and finish the problems by myself, and I didn't do too badly on the problem sets. I went to office hours only twice, but I didn't get any questions answered because it was so crowded. The readers grade very stringently: they dock for trivial things like sig figs and not showing every step. The midterm was overly difficult (mean around 40%), but at least that made the curve helpful. I wouldn't recommend this course if you don't need it.
Submitted May 20th, 2013
Comment: Weekly problem sets were impossible, never able to get enough help on them because office hours were always packed and there simply were not enough GSIs and not enough time to receive help.
Submitted May 17th, 2013