The primary objective of this course is to present principles of vegetation management within a global framework that incorporates ecological, economic, and sociopolitical factors. Specifically, we will address the importance of several globally important issues within the context of local and regional management of forests and rangelands. In short, we are trying to teach, and learn, how to save the world's remaining biological diversity in light of five global-scale forces that threaten our ability to develop a just and sustainable human society: greenhouse gas concentrations, consumption of resources, extinction, infectious diseases, and human population growth. This course will address each of these issues within the context of local and regional management of forests and rangelands. In addition to discussing these significant problems, we will work to develop solutions.
In addition to learning about these global-scale forces -- as if that task is not Herculean enough -- we will work on development of communication and critical-thinking skills. We view these skills as foundational for a career in natural resources management, s well as for a life of excellence.