Environmental issues arise from interactions between human society and the natural world. These interactions can degrade the natural world, which can deprive current and future generations of the natural resources and ecosystem services upon which humanity depends. This introductory environmental science course explores some of the world’s most pressing environmental issues (e.g., population growth, biodiversity loss, invasive species, pollution, overfishing, and climate change). We’ll also examine solutions that can contribute to environmental sustainability. Special emphasis will be placed on marine and coastal environments encountered along the voyage. In anticipation of each port, we will focus on a critical environmental conservation issue relevant to that nation. By the end of the course students will become informed and critical thinkers regarding environmental change, human society, and the sustainability of natural resources from local to global scales.
*Note: This class is delivered when lunch is served.
Field WorkCountry: Japan
Date: January 24, 2020
Seafood is central to Japanese society- its culture, economy and way of life. But worldwide the sources of seafood, fishes and other aquatic organisms, are under intense exploitation by humans. In this field class students will become more aware of the importance of seafood to societies and the issues surrounding sustaining those societal benefits. We will visit Awaji Island Marine Research and Teaching Center, followed by visit to a local fish market near the Port of Kobe. The trip will conclude at a Kobe seafood restaurant where students can make sustainable choices for their meal.
Assignment and evaluation: Write a 500-word field trip report in which you describe a) three things that you found most interesting about the field trip, b) what you learned about making sustainable seafood choices as a consumer, and c) how the field trip deepened your appreciation for the trade offs and complexity of environmental conservation issues. The field class report will be due at 0800 on 31 January.
1. Learn about aquatic conservation in Japan
2. Experience the role of seafood in Japanese daily life
3. Understand Japanese attitudes and preferences around marine conservation and seafood sustainability
4. Make informed choices for a sustainable seafood meal