Linking Science and Social Issues

The links between science content and unsolved civic problems are outlined in the syllabus, and in the attached chart. Science and Civic questions: Course Objectives (Acrobat (PDF) 554kB Jul31 13)

They are also reinforced through "Guiding Questions."

"Guiding Question" for the course

How can tomorrow's generations of all southwest Florida inhabitants continue to benefit from the natural goods and services a healthy coastal watershed provides, by better understanding our role as citizens today?

"Guiding Questions" for specific classes:

Class 1: What is an ecological footprint and what role do we each play in sustaining natural resources and ecosystem services so that future generations can enjoy the same wilderness experiences we get to enjoy today?

Class 2: What geologic and climatic events that have shaped the Florida peninsula over geologic time?

Class 3: Why does one male Florida Panther need 110 square miles of continuous habitat to survive?

Class 4: Understanding that adaptations to changing environmental conditions may take millions of years to occur via natural selection, in your mind, what does this mean for the fate of global biodiversity in this age of climate change, knowing that many human-induced changes occur in 50 years or less?

Class 6: There is only one "River of Grass" ... Do we have a duty to protect these places of value? Are these places worth saving? What Florida do you want to be responsible for leaving behind?

Class 7: "A Journey Down the Corkscrew Watershed": Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Field Excursion

Class 8: What factors limit the size of the human population and are humans bound by similar factors that limit wild organisms?

Class 11: Is freshwater supply our next oil? (Cynthia Barnett: Mirage)

Class 13: Can humans realistically live with charismatic magafauna, like Florida Panthers and Roseate Spoonbills that we have learned about in this course? What must humans do differently so that organisms like these have a chance to recover and not go extinct?