Run by School of Natural Sciences
20.000 Credits or 10.000 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Prof Julia Patricia Gordon Jones
Overall aims and purpose
strong textTo critically explore the main theoretical and applied aspects of conservation science.
In this module we present key concepts that underpin modern conservation science. As such it is highly interdisciplinary; emphasising the interactions between natural and social systems. We start by considering the evidence that we are living in the Anthropocene: a geological epoch where human influence is the dominant influence on the climate and the environment and discuss what this means for those of us interested in biodiversity conservation. We discuss global patterns of biodiversity and threat and the relative importance of the various global threats to biodiversity. We consider overexploitation and how understanding of population dynamics and social-economic factors can help improve the management of harvested wild species. We discuss the ever increasing demand for food and how this can be best balanced with conservation (debating ‘land sparing/land sharing’ in the process). We critically discuss a range of (overlapping) approaches to conservation including protected areas, biodiversity offsetting, market mechanisms (including Payment for Ecosystem Services), and the role of ex situ conservation (focusing on plant conservation). We also discuss the role of monitoring and impact evaluation in effective conservation. Students will develop field skills in rapid diversity assessment (in a practical which also helps demonstrate the species-area relationship-a key theory underpinning reserve design). The course is structured around a series of lectures, practicals, and student-led seminars. With most lectures I will give at least one or two references from the primary literature that I expect you to look at, along with a broader reference list for your interest. Understanding how to use and criticise (I mean this in the positive sense) the primary literature is a vital skill. Conservation Science is also a value-based subject and many topics are ripe for discussion. For this reason we will have a series of 3 student-led seminars based on the literature. In groups you will present a topic and suggested reading from literature I will suggest (you are free to add your own). I will then facilitate a class discussion on the topic. As well as extending what we can cover beyond the lectures, this will be an opportunity for you to practise your presentations skills ahead of your assessed presentations in the last week of the course.
ESSAY Threshold: Summarise information given during the module, or available from very basic reading, in a way which answers the question.
PRESENTATIONS Threshold: Produce a clear presentation which makes a reasonable argument, addressing a sesible and appropriate topic.
ESSAY Good: Answer the question using appropriate sources in a critical way to structure a coherent argument.
PRESENTATIONS Good: Synthesise and critique a range of suitable sources to produce a clear presentation which makes a reasonable argument, addressing a sesible and appropriate topic.
ESSAY Excellent: Answer the question using a wide range of sources in a critical way to structure a well-written and coherent argument which shows deep understanding of the complexities involved.
PRESENTATIONS Excellent: Synthesise and critique an extensive range of suitable sources to produce a very clear presentation which makes a reasonable argument. Shows mature and deep understanding of the topic and excellent presentation.
Understand the concepts and theories underlying the subject of conservation science.
Understand the interdisciplinary nature of conservation science and demonstrate a good awareness of the relevance of both ecological and social sciences to conservation.
Understand the importance of taking an evidence-based approach to the management of biodiversity.
Understand the value-judgements central to decision making in conservation science.
Synthesize and critique sources of evidence to produce a coherent written or verbal argument.
Be able to express themselves clearly in semi-formal presentations and debates and in a written essay.
Be able to plan and conduct a rapid assessment of plant biodiversity.
|GROUP PRESENTATION||Group presentation||
Purpose of assignment: To encourage you to explore concepts and theories underlying conservation science and the interdisciplinary nature of the subject. To help you to develop an evidence-based approach to the management of biodiversity (synthesizing and critiquing sources of evidence as appropriate) while also recognising that value judgements are important. To develop presentation skills. (Learning outcomes 1,2,3,4,5 and 6). Instructions: You can chose any title related to the subject of the module that gives you the opportunity to research something of interest to you. Please tell me your title before you start work so I can confirm that it is appropriate. I expect you to do some research using a wide range of sources. This is a scientific presentation so there needs to be a critique of the literature. It is therefore not appropriate to present a point of view or a conservation project you have read about on a single website or in a single article. Questions which can be answered in the presentation make good topics. Examples of previous topics include: 1) What might brexit mean for the future of UK conservation? 2) How can data from social media be helpful to conservation science? 3) Can REDD+ equitably reduce deforestation in the Amazon? 4) Do no take zones benefit fisheries in Europe? 5) What is the role of upland management on lowland flooding in the UK? 6) Is conservation evidence-based? Group of 1 (discouraged-please discuss with me)-you will have 10 mins and 2 mins for questions. Groups of 2: you will have 12 minutes and 3 minutes for questions. Groups of 3: you will have 15 minutes and 4 minutes for questions. Sticking to time is vitally important. I will warn you when you have 5 mins left and when you have 1 minute. If you overrun you suffer a penalty (worth up to 10% of the marks). Please submit your title and co-presenters on the google doc at least 2 weeks before the final presentation date (details provided in class).
|ESSAY||"Why and how I would conserve the ......"||
Purpose of assignment: To encourage you to explore concepts and theories underlying conservation science and the interdisciplinary nature of the subject. To help you to develop an evidence-based approach to the management of biodiversity (synthesizing and crtiquing sources of evidence as appropriate) while also recognising that value judgements are important. To develop presentation skills. (Learning outcomes 1,2,3,4,5 and 6). Instructions: Please write a 2000 word essay with the title “Why and how I would conserve the…….” ‘The ….’ can be a species or habitat or species assemblage of your choice e.g. “Why and how I would conserve the coral reefs of the Caribbean” or “Why and how I would conserve bitterns in the UK” or “Why and how I would conserve polar bears”. In this essay I would like you to bring together what you have learnt in the course (and from your own knowledge and wider reading) to argue why your target justifies conservation investment and what sort of approach you would take to conserving it. Please use the literature (including core concepts) carefully in researching and writing this essay. You have significant time to work on it and I expect you to research it deeply. If you chose a highly specialised topic with little literature on the specific species or habitat, this does not mean there is no literature you need to refer to. There are always lessons to be taken from related topics. There is a strict 2000 word limit for this excersise (excluding the literature cited and any figures or tables). Please give the word count at the end of your work. There are some simple guides to writing essays in the web. Key points for performing well in this essay are: A) It must have a clear introduction which sets up the context and frames the scope of the essay B) It must be clearly structured (sub-headings can help with this) C) It must be properly referenced with all sources referred to in the text and listed in alphabetical order by author at the back (see any good journal e.g. Conservation Biology and follow their style). D) You must answer both ‘why’ and ‘how’. E) It must have a clear concluding paragraph which draws it all together.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
field trips to a woodland and Treborth botanic garden
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
- Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
Subject specific skills
- Recognize the moral, ethical and social issues relating to the subject.
- Develop and identify research question(s) and/or hypotheses as the basis for investigation.
- Conduct fieldwork and/or laboratory work competently with awareness of appropriate risk assessment and ethical considerations
- Consider issues from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives.
- Engage in debate and/or discussion with specialists and non-specialists using appropriate language.
- Demonstrate the independence and skills required for continuing professional development
Resource implications for students
Students will need to wear appropriate outdoor clothing and footware on field trips and take their own lunch for the two field trip days. Students will need to make their own way to Treborth.
Talis Reading listhttp://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/dxx-4016.html
Courses including this module
Compulsory in courses:
- D9AN: MSc Conservation and Land Management year 1 (MSC/CLM)
- D5AB: MSc Sustainable Forest and Nature Management year 2 (MSC/SFNM)