Honors Seminar–Knowing Across Cultures: Wildlife Conservation Around the World [CRN 79656]

Discipline: Honors
Instructor: Doherty
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 1530
End: 1650
Field Work: Day 1 | October 7, 2017 | South Africa
Prerequisites: Enrollment in an honors program at the student's home institution is required; Completion of two (2) honors seminars with an emphasis on humanistic and scientific studies. Download Syllabus

This course will engage students in the exploration of different values and ways of knowing across cultures by primarily focusing on wildlife conservation issues around the globe during our Semester at Sea voyage. Specifically, this course will provide experiences for students to critically and analytically reflect on how power, privilege, cultural identities, historical frameworks, social systems, and cultural backgrounds influence how wildlife are viewed and managed around the world. We will explore the history and different views of wildlife management, and use the “North American Wildlife Conservation Model” as a point of reference. We will explore controversial wildlife topics and how different cultural values, religions, ethics, and economic status affect approaches to wildlife conservation.  For example, do wildlife exist for human use or do wildlife have inherent value and rights?  Is hunting ethical, whether for subsistence, recreation, or conservation? How do different cultures view regulations on commercial fishing and whaling?  Should we cull one species to save an endangered one?  We will explore these ideas, and others, through readings, discussion, videos, field trips, and independent projects.

Field Work

Country: South Africa
Day: 1
Date: October 7, 2017

South Africa’s biodiversity is unique, charismatic, and under pressure. We will explore the biodiversity of the Cape region and understand management issues. We plan on starting the day at Cape Point, and also visit Table Mountain National Park and the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. The gardens are the most beautiful in Africa and have a strong conservation focus. The gardens are near Table Mountain National Park, which has the highest concentration of threatened species in any metropolitan area in the word. We will then proceed to the African Penguin colony at Boulders which has broad appeal as well as human-wildlife conflict issues.

Learning Objectives:
1. Appreciate the natural resources of the Cape region.
2. Reinforce readings from class on diversity of wildlife in South Africa and human-wildlife conflict/exploitation.
3. Identify management actions to conserve biodiversity in an urban setting.