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HUMBIO 19SC: Parks and Peoples: Challenges of Protected Area Conservation in East Africa (ANTHRO 12SC)

The world-famous landscapes of East Africa, including Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and the Rift Valley lakes of Tanzania form the backdrop for this special course on protected area conservation, its impacts on local people, and alternative models that simultaneously promote conservation while creating local community benefits. We take full advantage of the special format of Sophomore College, spending an initial week on campus with lectures and lively discussions on these topics, before flying together on a 12-day expedition to northern Tanzania to witness firsthand the challenges of parks and peoples in this classic setting. Summer reading is designed to help us all prepare for the experience. Students will also undertake research on a related subject of interest to them by drawing on the literature to develop and present a final paper to the class, providing a closer look at key places and issues we'll consider. Joining us for the travel segment of the class more »
The world-famous landscapes of East Africa, including Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and the Rift Valley lakes of Tanzania form the backdrop for this special course on protected area conservation, its impacts on local people, and alternative models that simultaneously promote conservation while creating local community benefits. We take full advantage of the special format of Sophomore College, spending an initial week on campus with lectures and lively discussions on these topics, before flying together on a 12-day expedition to northern Tanzania to witness firsthand the challenges of parks and peoples in this classic setting. Summer reading is designed to help us all prepare for the experience. Students will also undertake research on a related subject of interest to them by drawing on the literature to develop and present a final paper to the class, providing a closer look at key places and issues we'll consider. Joining us for the travel segment of the class, and a few days on campus, will be a group of Stanford alumni who have an interest in these same topics. The course will explore the pros and cons of parks and protected areas as they affect both wildlife and human inhabitants, and to address the dilemma of how to achieve conservation in a manner that creates benefits for local people and promotes social justice. We will look at the history of specific protected areas to ask: What approach to protected area (PA) conservation has been taken in each case? Who are the key proponents and what are their main social and ecological objectives? How successful has the protected area been at achieving its conservation goals? In what ways is climate change affecting that success? What are the benefits of the PA to people and who receives them? What are the costs of the PA to people and who pays them? Where benefits are not commensurate to costs, what, if anything, is being done to address the imbalance? How well is it working? Are there alternative conservation models that would make the interests of parks and people more compatible, and reduce the tradeoffs between them? What is needed to make these alternative models work? The travel portion of the class will help us take an on-the-ground look at these questions. We are scheduled to visit Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Mt. Meru, and Serengeti National Parks, plus the Maramboi Wildlife Management Area, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and nearby Maasai villages. Please note that students are required to read four books over the summer, to reflect on them in two short essays (2-3 pages each), one due in July and the other in August, and to come to campus in the fall well-prepared to discuss each reading and co-lead a class discussion on at least one of them. A 6- to 8-page final paper will be based on literature research on an approved topic, focused on Tanzania or nearby. Students will be expected to present main findings of that paper during an evening seminar as we travel.
Terms: Sum | Units: 2
Instructors: Durham, W. (PI)
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