Feb 02, 2023  
2023 January Term Course Catalog 
2023 January Term Course Catalog
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JAN 178 - Endangered Australia: Wildlife and Culture

Upper division
Full credit

Australia is one of the most important nations on Earth for biodiversity, as it is home to more species than any other developed country.  Most of Australia’s wildlife is found nowhere else in the world, making its conservation even more important.  Sadly, however, Australia is facing an extinction crisis.  It has the planet’s worst mammal extinction rate and a high proportion of their surviving animals and plants (over 1,700 species) are listed as endangered!  To add to the pressures on the wildlife and environment, Australia has recently suffered a trifecta of the worst wildfires in its recorded history, making efforts to assist with wildlife conservation even more critical.

Over the centuries, Indigenous Australians (Aboriginals) have suffered a similar fate as the wildlife.  They have been brutally mistreated and forced out of their native lands where they had lived for millennia. Currently, however, a quiet revolution is growing where Aboriginals are fighting to preserve their culture and the natural environment through work with conservation programs throughout the country.  This symbiotic relationship is helping bring Aboriginals back to their native lands while playing a critical role in the wildlife conservation movement.

The mission of this course is to survey and participate in Australian wildlife conservation efforts and to develop an understanding of the relationship it shares with Aboriginal culture.  We will visit and volunteer with several community-based wildlife conservation programs, Aboriginal sites, and national parks in order to gain a first-hand appreciation of the relationship between these two cultures and to contribute to their success.  Conservation professionals, scientists, and Aboriginal leaders will provide us first-hand education on the effects that habitat damage, over-exploitation, pollution, invasive species, and climate change are having on native species and ecosystems.


Core Designation: Global Perspectives and Community Engagement


Instructor(s): Derek Marks
Email:  dwm1@stmarys-ca.edu

Prerequisites & Notes
Prerequisites:  One or more courses in environmental science (EES), biology (BIO), anthropology (ANTH) or, attendance at an informational meeting (details below), and permission of the instructor.
Course Fee:  5600

Credits: 1

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