Mystery in Alaska: A Study of the 2000 Fishing Ban
This material was originally developed as part of the Carleton College Teaching Activity Collection
through its collaboration with the SERC Pedagogic Service.
What is the role of ecosystem science in the Alaskan fishing ban imposed in July 2000 in light of the concerns over the decline of Steller's sea Lions in Alaska? This question was unpacked in the documentary film broadcast on the PBS program Natureon August 24, 2008. This project investigates hidden connections between science and society related to the case by following through the documentary and answering three main questions: (1) how do the ecosystem and social systems interact and what is the role of this interaction in the decline of Steller's sea lions?; (2) can the July 2000 fishing ban be justified by the findings?; and (3) what hypotheses and theories of sustainability read about the the class (such as gaia hypothesis, DNA-centered view of life, cell-centered views of life, theory of emergent properties, complex adaptive system theory, etc) are tenable to explain this complexity or mystery?
Context for Use
Description and Teaching Materials
Project Guidelines (Acrobat (PDF) 120kB Apr28 09)