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New Course for Graduate Students: Marine Conservation and the Blue Economy

ENVIRON 297B  - Developing a Sustainable Blue Economy as a Key to Successful Marine Conservation: Filling in Critical Gaps in Knowledge is a new graduate course on marine conservation offered this winter quarter by Professor Peter Kareiva.

Two things are striking about the ocean in the 21st Century: 1) economic productivity based on the oceans (the “blue economy”) is growing and is already huge, 2) environmental degradation in the ocean (heat waves, acidification, pollution, overfishing and habitat destruction) threaten everything. In this course we will examine the general thinking behind the Sustainable Development Goals as they relate to marine conservation, with a special focus on Small Island Developing States. The focus on small islands is because UCLA is in a partnership with the Waitt Foundation and other NGO’s to advance prosperity and marine conservation in these nations. The broader intellectual fabric of the seminar concerns the goal of “ocean health and wealth”. After discussing “ocean health and wealth” at a theoretical level, we will probe existing gaps in knowledge and understanding. The gaps we address represent areas of special relevance to small island nations, because we are in a position to apply what we learn to actual policies, investments, and capacity-building in these nations via our network of NGO partners.

The course will be seminar style, meeting Wednesdays 4-6:50PM. Dr. Kareiva will provide background and context via “short lectures”, assigned readings, and discussion in weeks 1 thru 3. Then in weeks 4 thru 10 graduate student teams will develop their own research program, taking advantage of each class meeting for help and feedback. The selection of research questions will be guided by the instructor so that whatever is learned has a good chance of being used by one of IoES’s NGO partners as they work to advance marine conservation and also build prosperity and security for island people in an equitable way.