A Graduate Seminar: FWCB 696 (Course that addresses Africa)

A Graduate Seminar: FWCB 696

When: Fall 2017 Monday (Evenings 6-8 PM); 2 Credits;  Where:  Wagar 107B

Conservation Biology in Practice: International Perspectives from the Field

Instructor:  Dr. Joel Berger, Cox Chair in Wildlife Conservation Biology – CSU (jberger@wcs.org )

This seminar will address three questions:  

1) What are we trying to save -- and why?  2) How is this being done - and how has it changed over time?  3) What lessons are we learning - what overarching issues remain problematic? 

Answers will be sought by understanding the mix between science and human perspectives.  Hence, we’ll consider a spectrum of topics using conceptual underpinnings and case studies that emphasize interdisciplinary approaches.


  • Asia, Africa, Latin America, North America, and the Arctic vary in landscapes, culture, and history,
  • Globally, less than five protected areas are the size of Colorado – most PAs are relatively small,
  • Conservation requires compromise (duh),
  • What works in North America does not work in India, what works in India has been tried in South Africa,
  • Fences are coming down, fences are going up,
  • Restoration (?) – or, alternatively, do we just protect large areas where there are no people? 
  • The voices of local people and the populace at large matter;

Goals and Approach – To address the above and more; additionally, each student will construct an Op-Ed

The format will be student-led critical discourse based on recent papers.  Each participant will direct a weekly discussion; everyone will participate

The first class meeting is requisite as we’ll establish logistics and scheduling for the remainder of the semester.