I’ve been trying to incorporate more active learning  into my lectures recently. There’s good evidence to show that active learning is more engaging to to students and that can translate into higher grades.


Teaching Dartmouth College students in Nate Dominy‘s class about shark toothed weapons. Active, but not blood sheddingly active

Active learning can involve clickers, group work, in-class projects and a suite of other options. One that I enjoy using in my marine conservation ecology class is running debates. These debates are fun because they mimic many real world conservation issues where there’s no clear right/easy answer, and they force students to really elucidate their feelings  – preferably supported with peer reviewed literature.

One of the debates we are running this year is “Are species or ecosystems the appropriate target for allocating conservation resources?”  My students are now searching through the literature to bolster this, and we will have one student act as a rapporteur who will blog the whole thing.

In the mean time, for your benefit (and my students) I’m compiling the list of resources that they are going to be drawing from:

  1. Babcock, Elizabeth A., and Ellen K. Pikitch. “Can we reach agreement on a standardized approach to ecosystem-based fishery management?.” Bulletin of Marine Science 74.3 (2004): 685-692.
  2. Bol’shakov, V. N., A. A. Lushchekina, and V. M. Neronov. “Biodiversity conservation: From ecosystem to the ecosystem approach.” Russian Journal of Ecology 40.2 (2009): 73-80.
  3. Cardinale, Bradley J., et al. “Biodiversity loss and its impact on humanity.” Nature 486.7401 (2012): 59-67.
  4. Cotter, John, et al. “Towards an ecosystem approach to fisheries management (EAFM) when trawl surveys provide the main source of information.” Aquatic Living Resources 22.02 (2009): 243-254.
  5. Cowan Jr, James H., et al. “Challenges for implementing an ecosystem approach to fisheries management.” Marine and Coastal Fisheries 4.1 (2012): 496-510.
  6. Devillers, Rodolphe, et al. “Reinventing residual reserves in the sea: are we favouring ease of establishment over need for protection?.” Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 25.4 (2015): 480-504.
  7. Fulton, Elizabeth A., et al. “Modelling marine protected areas: insights and hurdles.” Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 370.1681 (2015): 20140278.
  8. Hilborn, Ray, et al. “When can marine reserves improve fisheries management?.” Ocean & Coastal Management 47.3 (2004): 197-205.
  9. Jones, G. P., et al. “Conservation of marine biodiversity.” Oceanography 20.3 (2007): 100.
  10. Larkin, Peter A. “An epitaph for the concept of maximum sustained yield.Transactions of the American fisheries society 106.1 (1977): 1-11.
  11. Leslie, Heather M., and Karen L. McLeod. “Confronting the challenges of implementing marine ecosystem-based management.” Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 5.10 (2007): 540-548.
  12. Lorimer, Jamie, and Clemens Driessen. “Wild experiments at the Oostvaardersplassen: Rethinking environmentalism in the Anthropocene.” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 39.2 (2014): 169-181.
  13. Murawski, Steven A. “Ten myths concerning ecosystem approaches to marine resource management.” Marine Policy 31.6 (2007): 681-690.
  14. Niemi, Gerald J., et al. “A critical analysis on the use of indicator species in management.” The Journal of wildlife management (1997): 1240-1252.
  15. Neigel, Joseph E. “Species-area relationships and marine conservation.” Ecological Applications 13.sp1 (2003): 138-145.
  16. Pérez-Jorge, Sergi, et al. “Can Static Habitat Protection Encompass Critical Areas for Highly Mobile Marine Top Predators? Insights from Coastal East Africa.” PloS one 10.7 (2015): e0133265.
  17. Possingham, Hugh P., et al. “Limits to the use of threatened species lists.” Trends in ecology & evolution 17.11 (2002): 503-507.
  18. Powles, Howard, et al. “Assessing and protecting endangered marine species.” ICES Journal of Marine Science: Journal du Conseil 57.3 (2000): 669-676.
  19. Pikitch, EllenK, et al. “Ecosystem-based fishery management.” Science305.5682 (2004): 346-347.
  20. Reynolds, John D., et al. “Biology of extinction risk in marine fishes.” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 272.1579 (2005): 2337-2344.
  21. Roberts, Callum M., et al. “Designing marine reserve networks why small, isolated protected areas are not enough.” Conservation in Practice 2.3 (2001): 10-17.
  22. Root-Bernstein, Meredith, et al. “Anthropomorphized species as tools for conservation: utility beyond prosocial, intelligent and suffering species.” Biodiversity and Conservation 22.8 (2013): 1577-1589.
  23. Sanderson, Eric W. “How many animals do we want to save? The many ways of setting population target levels for conservation.” BioScience 56.11 (2006): 911-922.
  24. Sandin, Stuart A., et al. “Baselines and degradation of coral reefs in the northern Line Islands.” PloS one 3.2 (2008): e1548.
  25. Simberloff, Daniel. “Flagships, umbrellas, and keystones: is single-species management passé in the landscape era?.” Biological conservation 83.3 (1998): 247-257.
  26. Soulé, Michael E., et al. “Strongly interacting species: conservation policy, management, and ethics.” BioScience 55.2 (2005): 168-176.
  27. Spalding, Mark D., et al. “Protecting marine spaces: global targets and changing approaches.” Ocean Yearbook Online 27.1 (2013): 213-248.
  28. Toonen, Robert J., et al. “One size does not fit all: the emerging frontier in large-scale marine conservation.” Marine pollution bulletin 77.1 (2013): 7-10.
  29. Travers, Morgane, et al. “Simulating and testing the sensitivity of ecosystem-based indicators to fishing in the southern Benguela ecosystem.” Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 63.4 (2006): 943-956.
  30. Wilder, Robert J., Mia J. Tegner, and Paul K. Dayton. “Saving marine biodiversity.” Issues in Science and Technology 15.3 (1999): 57.
  31. Zacharias, Mark A., and John C. Roff. “Use of focal species in marine conservation and management: a review and critique.” Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 11.1 (2001): 59-76.

I’ll report back in a few days to let you know how it goes…