Grand Challenges in Ocean Leadership
3 credits, Section 001
Terms 1 and 2, Wednesdays 2:00 – 4:00 pm in AERL 107
Grand Challenges in Ocean Leadership will enable students to develop leadership and advocacy skills that are required to address key challenges facing the ocean. The course will cover a range of topics, from overexploitation and marine pollution to climate change and ocean acidification, with a particular focus on issues impacting Canadian ocean and coastal health. In this cross-disciplinary course, students will address real-world challenges from the research and analysis stage through to the response and action stage under the guidance of the instructors. Through lectures, workshop activities, and a central project, students will learn about integrating and synthesizing disparate knowledge, project development, policy analysis and briefing, public communication, and knowledge translation.
This course helps create early career advocates for our ocean, people who have developed a solid appreciation of how best to effect change. It achieves this mission by engaging students directly in societal transformation during the course itself. The instructors will focus on developing transferrable capacity to improve the future of the ocean, rather than teaching technical skills that are specific to particular disciplines. Students will become good at, for example, working in interdisciplinary teams, integrating and synthesizing disparate knowledge, project development, policy analysis and briefing, public communication, and knowledge translation.
The focus on the ocean is merited by the perilous state of marine life and marine systems. The ocean embraces 99% of places where life is possible on our planet and helps meet a vast array of human needs. Yet marine environments are being subjected to severe overexploitation and damaging fishing practices, climate change, physical and chemical damage, eutrophication, and invasive species. Knowledge-based advocates need to define options for improvement and engage the broadest possible set of people in moving toward solutions.
Dr. Simon Donner