MAST 268
Debating Ocean Biodiversity at the Intersection of Science and Policy Spring 2021
Division II
Cross-listed ENVI 268 / MAST 268
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

Biodiversity in the ocean is facing an onslaught of challenges, both directly and indirectly. It is likely that we are undergoing a sixth mass extinction event, where diversity of life on earth is stunningly at risk. Fortunately, however, we are also finding innovative ways to solve issues and attempt to stave off these dramatic changes to our ecosystems. These solutions potentially have both positive and negative effects. Difficult tradeoffs must be weighed and decisions must be made as people wrestle with known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns. In this class, we will explore five issues that relate to biodiversity in the ocean. You will have the opportunity to investigate one side of an issue, to collect supporting information, and to advocate for your position all while learning about current biodiversity issues in the ocean. You will be challenged to weigh conflicting evidence to find a positive outcome. Throughout the class you will practice critical thinking, evaluation, and synthesizing skills as you work with multiple viewpoints. Class time will include lecture, in-class group work, and student-led debates of timely, controversial issues. You will be assessed on summaries of information, reflections on topics, and a final project on an issue of your choice relating to ocean biodiversity.
The Class: Format: seminar; Remote, including Zoom seminar meetings twice a week
Limit: 20
Expected: 15
Class#: 5024
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Five 2-page papers, participation, and a 6-8 page final paper
Prerequisites: none, open to all students
Enrollment Preferences: 1. first years, 2. sophomores, 3. MAST concentrators
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ENVI 268 Division II MAST 268 Division II
Attributes: ENVI Humanities, Arts + Social Science Electives
MAST Interdepartmental Electives

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