When: March 18th, 12.30pm-1.20pm, AERL 120
Speaker: Peter Arcese, Professor, Forestry Renewal BC Chair in Conservation Biology
Title: Empiricists and Environmental Policy: Designing Research to Address Multiple Audiences
Abstract: Many conservation biologists are ‘converted’ empiricists in ecology and evolution. I followed that path intentionally because of an assumption that some mechanistic understanding would be necessary to predict how species and ecosystems might respond to the direct and indirect effects of humans on environment. I describe how empirical approaches to understanding have influenced conservation policy, wildlife harvest and over-fishing in Africa by identifying and testing critical assumptions of policy hypotheses, and by applying simple economic models to human-wildlife systems. I then show how empirical understanding can shape land use policy in the Georgia Basin, BC, again by understanding the cultural and economic drivers of ecological change.