For a description of the complete curriculum guidelines for the Applied Biodiversity Science Doctoral Certification Program, click here (pdf).
Applied Biodiversity Science I
Description: Efforts to halt the loss of biodiversity must be based on integration between science and practice. Linking theory with real-world conservation requires the engagement of many different kinds of actors, including biologists and social scientists, universities and museums, governments and nongovernmental organizations, industries, interest groups, and communities. Such collaboration is critical for establishing conservation priorities, developing ecologically and socially acceptable management plans, building local capacity for stewardship, and guiding effective policy. Currently, a great deal of conservation research is based in universities with few linkages between scientists and practitioners, or between theory and practical strategies for conservation. Moreover, research on patterns and processes that underlie the loss of biodiversity are often conceptual and discipline specific, with few lessons shared among researchers from diverse disciplines.
Our goal in this course is to build cross-disciplinary understanding of biodiversity science. We ask:
- What is biodiversity? How is it perceived, valued, measured, monitored, and protected?
- What are various strategies for protecting biodiversity while also meeting human needs?
- What are current perspectives from evolutionary and community ecology, conservation biology, environmental anthropology, political ecology, and ecological economics?
- What can we learn from case studies, and what is the role of science for building more effective on-the-ground strategies?
Applied Biodiversity Science II
Description: The most important forest, land and water conservation issues around the world are the result of complex processes driven by human societies. Successfully addressing these problems will require accurate scientific information, effective policies and innovative governance arrangements. ABSII is a graduate course being offered as part of the Applied Biodiversity Science Program that will explore the practice of biodiversity science through the examination of real world conservation interventions by different actors and at different scales and their impact on biodiversity conservation and improved livelihoods. Conservation frameworks set forth by international conventions, nation-states policies, NGO programs and community-based initiatives will be examined and students will be encouraged to think about the policy and governance implications of their own research as well as to embed their work in the prism of these different frameworks and theories. The main goal of ABSII is to build cross-disciplinary awareness of biodiversity conservation practices and their theoretical foundations.
Our goal in this course is to build cross-disciplinary awareness of the practice of biodiversity conservation. Specific learning objectives include:
- Develop the skill set to assess the policy drivers and governance responses across a range of ecological threats that affect biodiversity conservation.
- Understand the role of policy advisors and policy brokers and how to develop and present scientific information to policy makers.
- Design policy briefs based on students’ interests and research.
- Students will improve their ability to work in an interdisciplinary setting and consider the
different perspectives of conservation actors.
Applied Biodiversity Science III: Outreach: From Theory to Practice
Description: Successful conservation outcomes, environmental health, and human capital development are just a few of the benefits of effective communication between scientists and the general public. Many major funding agencies evaluate research proposals’ broader impacts as an integral part of proposal review. This ABS III graduate course, Outreach: From Theory to Practice (ESSM 689), is designed to teach graduate students about informal STEM education (ISE), and how to incorporate ISE methods into outreach efforts to the general population. Students will learn about the role ISE plays in a democratic society and how ISE can impact a wide range of public policies from air quality monitoring to controlling the spread of zebra mussels. Using their gained insight into ISE, students will propose and implement an ISE program that relates to their own research or related STEM topic at an outreach event of their choosing.
The learning objectives of this course are to enable students to:
- Articulate and critique the role of informal STEM education (ISE) in a democratic society
- Evaluate the various ways that ISE can affect public policy
- Assess the quality of ISE efforts and provide constructive feedback on how to improve or expand such efforts
- Create an ISE activity that demonstrates an understanding of ISE
- Present scientific research to the general public at an outreach event