Global Wetlands: Boundary-spanning ecosystems for science, social justice, and public policy
Wetlands are critical, boundary-spanning ecosystems. Wetlands can sequester carbon from the atmosphere on millennial timescales, host extreme amounts of biodiversity, act as crucial components of climate change resilience and adaptation policies, and serve as sites of social justice and cultural heritage. Yet at a global scale, many wetlands have been lost or are imperiled from forces of global change. This course will examine global wetlands as systems at the intersection of natural and physical sciences, social values, and public policy, including examples where these intersections are in tension with each other. Students in this seminar will develop skills in cross-disciplinary analysis of environmental outcomes through cases of ecosystem carbon sequestration and storage, wetland “reclamation” and restoration, and coastal planning for climate resilience.