ENV 250 - Ecology of Place
Planned Offering: Spring 2013 and alternate years
Think globally, study locally. This course explores globally significant environmental issues such as biodiversity conservation, sustainable delivery of ecosystem goods and services, and environmental justice, as they are manifested on a local/regional scale. We examine interactions among ethical, ecological, and economic concerns that shape these issues. Students are fully engaged in the development of policy recommendations that could guide relevant decision makers. The course incorporates readings, field trips, films, and discussions with invited experts.
Spring 2013 Topic:
ENV 250-01: Ecology of Place: People and the Environment in Rockbridge County, Virgina (4). The landscape around Lexington is a mosaic of fields, forests and rivers. What do you know about the economic activities that shape this landscape? What are the ecological consequences of these land-use decisions? What ethical and other non-economic values are being fostered or frustrated by current patterns of development? Are there smarter things we might be doing with the land? In the process of answering these question, we look at issues such as the health of local watersheds, the economics and ecological impact of the cow-calf operations that dominate local agriculture, the health, sustainability and economics of the local forest industry, the overall state of biodiversity in the region as well as the impact of invasive species, attempts to constrain rural development in the interest of the aesthetics of the landscape, wildlife issues such as the recent explosions in deer and coyote populations, attempts to establish conservations reserves and wildlife corridors, and more. The course includes a series of field trips, guest speakers, readings, and class discussion. Cooper, Hurd.
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