Taught from a political science perspective, this course addresses the social, economic, and political factors that impact the management of marine environments at the local, national, and international levels. The course explores how political actors, interest groups, and the scientific community interact in the political process. The course explores existing environmental laws and agreements, as well as the processes that lead to binding environmental rules. The major areas of marine resource conservation that are covered include: fisheries management, ecosystem-based management, protection of endangered marine species, the international moratorium on commercial whaling, the impact of military sonar on marine mammals, management of agricultural runoff in coastal areas, sewage management practices, the problem of plastic waste in the Pacific Ocean, ocean acidification, coral reef management, climate change, and others. Readings and discussions apply the larger themes and substantive focus of the course to specific cases of relevance to the voyage. Students are taught to identify the considerable roadblocks to enacting meaningful marine policy and challenged to identify examples of successful marine resource management.
Field ClassCountry: Mauritius
Day: 1 - Wednesday, 18 March
Travel to the Mauritius Marine Science Research Institute at Albion, where a specialist will present information on all the branches of the institution: Aquaculture, Marine Science, Marine Parks, Marine Research, and Fisheries. Enjoy a tour of the various departments and laboratories. Then proceed to Beau Vallon in the southeast part of the island, accompanied by a marine park specialist. The experience is designed to help participants understand the role of science in marine conservation and fisheries management. Academic Objectives: 1. Understand the role of science-based decision making in environmental conservation. 2. Understand the role of science in identifying the threats to marine conservation in Mauritius. 3. Understand how the policy process addresses scientific uncertainty.