The course is targeted at advanced MSc students interested in nature conservation, who have at least a basic understanding of conservation biology. The course "Fundamentals in conservation biology" is recommended but not required. Students with different disciplinary backgrounds are welcome!
The aims of this course are: To introduce the students to important but controversial topics in conservation biology, and to practice scientific presentation and conversation skills. To realize that there are no clear conservation solutions for all questions, to be able to appreciate differing values, to think critically and develop informed opinions.
This course consists of 6 debate session from January 18 onwards - there is no meeting on the 4th unlike in the schedule, and on the 11th we have an introductory meeting only, which is not mandatory (e.g. incoming exchange students can skip this if not yet in Helsinki). The debates take place at 10-12.
Attendance is mandatory for the debates - one absence can be compensated with an extra task. Participating in the debates requires preparatory work in teams, reading articles and making a short power point for stimulating the discussion. In addition, the students write short summaries on debates they attended as "members of the public", as well as a final essay on their preferred topic.
The course is graded on a scale 1-5. The grade is partly based on peer and self evalution, partly on teacher's assessment of written work.