One of the biggest challenges to supporting communication in ad hoc networks is the limited battery life of mobile nodes. Current approaches to energy conservation in ad hoc networks narrowly focus on optimizations at only one layer, and some only focus on a specific mechanism in that layer. By ignoring the impact within a layer and on other layers, many approaches become ineffective and may even increase energy consumption. This research integrates optimizations across layers in the innovative Pulsar framework, resulting in network-wide energy-efficient communication. At the node layer, power control (i.e., dynamically changing transmission power levels) reduces the energy consumption for data transmissions. Additionally, power management (i.e., placing the device in a low-power sleep mode) reduces the energy consumed unnecessarily during idle periods in communication. At the routing layer, energy consumption is reduced by finding minimum energy routes, maximizing the number of nodes in low-power mode and reducing the overhead of the routing protocol. At the global layer, Pulsar uses topology control to reduce transmission energy consumption and alleviate contention in the network. Each of these techniques can save a significant amount of energy for an individual node, but given the cooperative nature of communication in ad hoc networks, energy conservation at one node may impact the entire network. Pulsar captures the relationships between layers and provides energy-efficient communication using intelligent MAC and routing protocols and distributed algorithms to manage high-level network goals. Further, this research is bringing novel wireless networking projects into the undergraduate and graduate curriculum.