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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Lekelia D Jenkins
SIS 103
Seattle Campus

Society and the Oceans

Explores the social and policy dimensions of the ocean environment and ocean management policy. Pays attention to how human values, institutions, culture, and history shape environmental issues and policy responses. Examines case studies and influential frameworks, such as the ocean as "tragedy of the commons". Offered: jointly with SMEA 103/ENVIR 103.

Class description

The oceans were once considered an inexhaustible source of protein and mineral wealth capable of sustaining humankind into the distant future. Today the oceans have become the ultimate proving ground of whether humans are capable of achieving a sustainable relationship with a planet showing increasing signs of stress. Human populations are burgeoning in coastal areas worldwide, with increasing affluence and increasing impoverishment each in its own way contributing to coastal resource degradation. The course will examine how human values and interests shape our interactions with the marine environment. Topics will include an overview of marine policy, ocean-inspired art, and ecological concepts such as shifting baselines. The primary case studies for the course will focus on fisheries and fisheries conservation, include salmon.

Student learning goals

Discern the linkages between society and the marine environment and comprehend how these linkage drive change in social-ecological systems.

Develop an appreciation for how their individual choices as consumers, users, and appreciators of the marine environment and its products influences the function of marine ecosystems.

Articulate foundational phenomena, concepts and/or case studies in marine conservation.

Apply knowledge and critically interpret new information and current issues.

Develop the skills and confidence to communicate ideas and contribute to the learning community.

General method of instruction

The class session will consist mainly of active learning small group activities and discussion with minimal lecture.

Recommended preparation

None

Class assignments and grading

Students will be assessed based on presentations, creative group projects, short writing assignments, quizzes, a mid-term, and final project presentation.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by M Jane Meyerding
Date: 01/24/2012