Conservation biology has two major goals: 1) evaluate human impacts on biodiversity and 2) develop practical approaches to prevent this loss. Because it addresses human behaviors and activities, conservation biology is interdisciplinary, drawing on both natural and social sciences. This course explores ongoing and completed success stories as well as continuing challenges associated with the integration of key natural and social science perspectives on major conservation issues and recovery efforts in the Pacific Northwest. Our case studies will include fine-filter efforts to preserve and recover high profile species such as the Gray Wolf, Pacific Salmon runs, Southern Resident Killer Whales, Pygmy Rabbits, and Spotted Owls, as well as species critical to the ecosystem functioning such the North American Beaver. We will also explore coarse-filter, landscape-scale efforts such as the Forest and Fish Habitat Conservation Plan, the Voluntary Stewardship Program for Agricultural Lands, promising new conservation efforts in urban environments, and the ongoing restoration of Western Washington estuaries and Puget Sound Nearshore environments. Each of these case studies, occurring at the science-policy interface of conservation biology and policy, will illuminate the complexity of intersecting ecological, economic, and management issues and help illustrate methods of interdisciplinary problem-solving that can propel successful conservation efforts.
Class meetings are Wednesday 6-10 pm.