Community-Based Marine Conservation in the Gulf of California (ENV 181S-02/328-01)

Photo by Leonardo VerdugoThis is an experiential education course open to undergraduate and graduate students. It is designed to allow students to learn first-hand about the accomplishments, challenges, and promises of community-based conservation in biodiversity hotspots in developing countries.  Students have the opportunity to interact directly with individuals practicing marine conservation and travel to unique, remote, and beautiful places of rich biological diversity that have made the Gulf of California a world-renown biodiversity hotspot.

For a more detailed summary, click here.                                                                                                                                                                

Theory and Methods for Policy Analysis of the Commons (ENVIRON 298.96)

This is a graduate-level course designed for Coastal Environmental Management and Ph.D. students. In this class, we conceptualize policy very broadly. Policy is not only what happens inside government, or what decision-makers do when they are crafting laws and executive orders. Policy is the realm of every citizen when constructed as the study of the rule and norm systems that humans create to structure their interactions with one another. As such, policy necessarily includes the study of the effects of written and unwritten rules and norms, and how they are expressed in everyday behavior and societal outcomes (i.e., efficiency, accountability, sustainability, resilience,
equity, morality).

We focus our attention on how humanly devised rules and social norms affect humans’ ability to address collective action dilemmas related to our biophysical environment. That is, situations where the goals of a social group or society (i.e., clean air and water, healthy oceans, abundant wildlife) come into conflict with the individual incentives of members of the group or society (i.e., personal benefits from extracting water, polluting air, fishing and hunting). In this class you will be exposed to theories aimed at understanding what are collective action dilemmas and how social groups generate or try to avoid them. We also study the different methods used by scholars to study these issues, and the different strengths and weaknesses of different approaches.

 Current Topics in Marine Conservation (ENVIRON 886A/298.121)

This is a required course for Ph.D. students in the Marine Science and Conservation Division that I co-teach with Andy Read.  The class is designed to introduce students working in the natural sciences to concepts, theory, and literature from the social sciences and vice-versa based on topics in marine conservation. Our discussions lend themselves to a better understanding of how natural and social scientists approach research in general. These conversations tend to allow us to also examine what constitutes inter or transdisciplinarity, how it can emerge and be sustained in an academic and practitioner setting, and the role it plays (or can play) in marine conservation.