CVSC 231 - Conservation Science Discussion

- Spring 2015 -

Updated: 2015-04-13

Instructors: Jim Dooley

Office: BSC 428

Phone: 740-826-8227



Course Description:

This seminar is intended for first and second year students with an interest in conservation and environmental issues. While we may cover a small amount of lecture material, the vast majority of this course will be discussion oriented. THEREFORE IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU COME TO CLASS HAVING READ THE ASSIGNED MATERIAL AND READY TO DISCUSS THE WEEK'S TOPIC.

This semester we will be reading selections from Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Environmental Issues (15th Edition - ISBN = 978-0-07-351454-3) by Thomas Easton (McGraw-Hill).  Note:  McGraw-Hill often puts out 1-2 new editions each year  - that means you will likely find earlier editions online that look like great deals but won't work because many of the articles change with each new edition.

The overarching aim is to provide you with some relatively recent information about a range of important contemporary issues. More importantly, we want to further develop your ability to appreciate the notion that most conservation related issues are inherently complex and can be viewed from a number of different perspectives. The development of workable solutions to most such problems is often hampered by a, "I'm right and you're wrong," attitude. Each of us needs to come to understand our own values in order to clarify our positions on any significant issues. Then we must work hard to accept the validity of other perspectives.


Course Learning Objectives:  Course Leaning Objectives extend directly from the Biology Department's Learning Goals.   In particular, the learning objectives for this course emphasize Biology Department Learning Goals 1 & 3.   As a result of successfully completing this course, students will:

Seminar Meetings:

We will meet on Mondays from 2:00 - 2:50 p.m. in BSC 435

Student Requirements:

Each student will be required to lead the class discussion for 1-2 weeks.   If you have a preference as to which issue you will cover, please send me your request via email within 48 hrs of the first class meeting.  I then will make the chapter/student assignments doing what I can to consider individual interests.   Your grade will be determined using the following rubric: active participation (this includes all classroom sessions as well as requried posts on Black Board) - 75%, presentation performance - 25%.

Your Presentations: Remember these are not oral reports!: The aim is to lead the class in discussion. As you develop your approach to this task, consider the following as "jumping off points" for discussion:

In addition, I ask that you identify two additional articles or references that add additional light in understanding the issue or the nature of the conflict. Be prepared to "float" some of the ideas from your additional research as a way of broadening the discussion beyond the boundaries of our text.

Communication Policy:   I understand that you may or may not routinely check email in your personal life.  However, email is a critical means of communication for this course.  Your are responsible for checking in for course email at least once each day.  "I didn't receive the email" will not  be accepted as an excuse if you fail to receive and act on annoucements or changes to course assignments


Classroom Schedule






Course Introduction & Overview

No Reading Required


MLK Break


Do Ecosystem Services Have Economic Value? - Jim Dooley Issue: 3


Exercise: Library Search Tools
Exercise: Use of APA style in citations  


Taylor Bernhard - Is Shale Gas the Solution to Our Energy Woes? Issue 9


Chandler Marston - Is Renewable Energy Really Green? Issue 10


Paige Rogers - Do We Have a Population Problem? Issue 13
Lacey West: Is Sustainable Development Compatible with Human Welfare?   Issue: 2


Spring Break


Taylor Bernhard: Can Organic Farming Feed the World?
Issue: 15


Chandler Marston:Do Environmental Hormone Mimics Pose a Potentially Serious Health Threat?
Issue: 17


Paige Rogers: Does Commercial Fishing have a Future? Issue: 14


Lacey West: Should N. America's Landscape be Returned to its Prehuman State? Issue: 4


Class Discussion:  Why Students Don't Like School (6102) & Making College Relevant 6232.  Maybe also Critical Thinking Workout: What Drive Success (6319") vs. The Superiortiy Complex (6323")




Final Thoughts & Course Evaluations