ANTH 3340E: Culture and Conservation

Today, there is growing interest in conservation, and social and environmental scientists, alike, have an important role to play in helping conservation succeed for the sake of humanity, the environment and other species. Many researchers in these fields now argue that ecological data and an expansion of ethics that embrace more than one species, is essential to a well-rounded understanding of the connections between human behavior and environmental wellbeing. Inextricably linked to this, as well, is the fact that we, as the species that causes extinctions, have a moral responsibility to those whose evolutionary unfolding and very future we threaten.

Culture and Conservation is an rigorous course investigating the ways in which innovative and intensive new interdisciplinary approaches, questions, ethics and subject pools are closing the gap between the study of culture and the implementation of environmental conservation initiatives around the world. The course emphasizes the importance of increased collaboration between anthropologists, climate scientists, Connecticut communities and conservationists and represents an ongoing shift towards an environmentally focused perspective that embraces not only cultural values and social equity, but also the underlying urgency of local level sustainability initiatives.

The objective for this class is for students to gain a thorough understanding of the diverse social and environmental repercussions of climate change in a local context and be able to apply this knowledge to the design and execution a conservation-based service learning project. In this course you will be encouraged to bring in your own experiences and expertise, for no productive discussion of conservation should be one-sided. This class, as well as the study and implementation of conservation, in general, should be a multidisciplinary effort.