Biodiversity and Conservation in Borneo
ENVR/CONN 335B (spring semester, 2018)
The conservation of biodiversity, of the variety of living organisms on Earth, has recently become a major focus of scientific and environmental concern and policy. This course draws on perspectives from conservation biology, politics, anthropology, ethics and, environmental studies to explore the issues and challenges surrounding the “biodiversity crisis” in Malaysian Borneo. Borneo is one of the world’s most spectacularly biodiverse and culturally rich areas, and one where the process of land conversion from forest to human uses is ongoing. We will
examine the biology, history, politics, economics and ethics surrounding conservation in Malaysia. Because this is a Connections course, we will explore the interplay between the sciences, social sciences and values to better understand how the natural sciences both inform and are informed by such fields of study as philosophy, sociology, anthropology, political science, history and economics. Students will be asked to analyze questions using multiple disciplinary lenses, engage in cross-disciplinary dialogue, and synthesize and integrate the
different perspectives to come to a richer and fuller understanding of the challenges of biodiversity conservation in developing, tropical regions.
Note: Students will be selected through an application process. The course includes a subsidized travel component in Borneo after the semester, and participation in the Fall 2018 Southeast Asia Symposium.