This course will focus on eastern North America’s rich, living tradition of wildlands restoration and protection from the perspectives of history, science and policy. We will ground our thinking in the natural and cultural histories of the region and in the wilderness advocacy of prominent conservationists with roots in the northeastern North America. We will look briefly at the cultural contexts and public policy debates underlying establishment of: the Adirondack Forest Preserve, the nation’s first and best protected wilderness area, and the National Wilderness Preservation System. We will also consider recent efforts to restore and protect keystone predators as essential elements of healthy, whole wildland systems, and will look closely at an exciting transboundary, landscape-scale, science-based effort by Two Countries, One Forest, a network of Canadian and U.S. scientists and conservationists working in the Northern Appalachian eco-region—our home. Advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and adult learners have enrolled in this class in the past. The experience and maturity of the students and the relatively small size of past classes have enabled the course to be structured as a seminar--“a course of study pursued by a group of students doing advanced readings and research with guidance by a professor.” Although the instructor and outside speakers will occasionally lecture, students will be expected to stimulate and actively engage in discussions. Students will be allowed some discretion in choosing readings and written assignments relevant to their areas of academic interest, but within the context of the course. Flexibility in course content and schedule will be maintained to enable exploration of relevant issues that arise during the semester and to allow for more in-depth coverage of topics of special interest to the students.
Social Science (SS)
Minimum junior standing