Coastal-Marine Change and Governance in Jamaica: Linking Ecology, Conservation and Development
Winter 2014, Winter 2015
University of Waterloo
Co-develop with Dr. Derek Armitage
The Jamaica field course offers a unique opportunity to examine the linkages among ecology, conservation and development and environmental policy issues in a rapidly changing coastal-marine context. Current threats to Jamaica’s coastal-marine environment include overfishing, invasive species, poverty, and tourism development, along with the impacts of climate change (e.g., sea level rise, coral bleaching). Innovative strategies are required to protect Jamaica’s ecosystems, maintain the livelihoods and wellbeing of coastal people, and help individuals and communities adapt to change.
The course has an in-class component in addition to the field component (see schedule). We will meet several times in advance of our departure to Jamaica to: 1) discuss course logistics, expectations, and responsibilities; 2) engage with major themes in the course, including the human and biophysical dimensions of coastal-marine change, management and governance, and social and ecological sustainability; and 3) lay the groundwork for individual research projects and course assignments.
The field course component will involve visits to selected sites on both the north and south coast of Jamaica, and includes opportunities to interact with fisherman and coastal tourism operators, decision makers, and marine managers and researchers engaged in coastal-marine initiatives. We will also have an opportunity to snorkel among the sea grass beds and observe first-hand the state of coral reefs and fisheries.