ENST 344 - Managing Complexity: America’s Public Lands
Public land management is inherently complex. Typically there are multiple interested parties and potentially competing goals such as wilderness preservation, recreational accessibility, and resource exploitation. Also, the management of public lands may rest with several agencies. Management decisions made in pursuit of one goal often have implications for other goals, stakeholders, and management agencies. Complexity theory offers a new perspective for understanding the complicated workings of ecosystems, economies, and political systems. Such complex adaptive systems are characterized by feedback loops, chaos, nonlinear dynamics, self-organization, and emergence. The aims of this course are to investigate alternative public land management strategies and apply complexity theory 1) to model qualitatively the intricacies of both natural and human-built systems, 2) to propose and evaluate fresh ecological strategies and management policies for conserving public lands, and 3) to investigate new procedures for mitigating tension among competing interests in the use of public land. The course includes some weekend field trips.
Prerequisites: At least two courses related to environmental studies
Major/Minor Restrictions: None
Class Restriction: None
Area of Inquiry: None
Liberal Arts CORE: None
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