Public and Environmental Affairs | Biodiversity Conservation Policy
V550 | 30384 | Fischman, R

V 550 Topics in Public Affairs (1-4#cr.)

This course will challenge students to grapple with the intersection
of science and policy in the conservation of biological resources
through an intensive writing experience. The classes will engage
students in a discussion of: 1) the rise of biodiversity
conservation as an environmental policy goal; 2) the threats to
biodiversity; and 3) strategies for addressing threats and
protecting biodiversity. In addition to sharpening their analytical
skills, students should expect to improve their writing through
their work in this class. Students will prepare a series of brief
analytical papers based on class readings and a fifteen-page
research paper. Each student will also present a case study of a
biodiversity conservation policy problem to the class for
discussion. Grades will be based on the quality of student writing
and contributions to class discussion.
Among the specific topics the class will focus on are:
1) endangered species protection; 2) marine conservation; 3) animal
migrations; 4) ecosystem services; 5) sustainable development; and
6) adaptation to climate change.
The course offers students practice in making persuasive arguments
based on the scientific method, economic analysis, legal claims,
ethical/cultural considerations, and the policy sciences. There are
no prerequisites, but students who have some experience with or have
taken classes in any one of these areas are particularly encouraged
to enroll.
Some SPEA grad. students will wonder whether this class,
Biodiversity Conservation Policy, or the Wildlife Law course (B550),
also offered Fall 2010, is best suited to their needs. The
Biodiversity Conservation Policy class should be the choice for
students primarily interested in getting more experience writing.
The Wildlife Law course is best for students who have completed law
and public affairs and who are principally interested in the
Endangered Species Act. The Wildlife Law class will focus on the
legislation, rules, and court cases establishing imperiled species
protection in the United States  the only writing will be a single,
take-home, essay-style final exam. Wildlife Law (B550) is open to
all SPEA graduate students.
Students seeking more information should contact Professor Fischman
directly at 855-4565 or