I have been teaching a seminar course in Animal Geography this Fall Semester in the Geography Department at the University of California – Berkeley.
It has been an interesting and useful journey for me – from wildlife biology in the Centre for Biodiversity & Restoration Ecology at Victoria University to Geography in McCone Hall. Course participants have come from departments across the university. Most are from Environmental Science, Policy & Management. Others are from Integrative Biology, Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning, as well as, of course, Geography.
Together we have roamed widely across hot topics in the relationships of people and animals such as conflict, restoration and re-wilding, and companion animals.
We have examined case studies such as the reintroduction of wolves in Europe and North America, lion and tigers in our cities and towns, cats as companions, strays and feral, and the place of wild horses in our landscapes.
We have drawn from apparently disparate disciplines – anthropology, psychology, ecology, sociology, critical animal studies.
As part of their course assessment, I asked the class to write their own weblog post of less than 600 words on any topic so long as it involves the Perissodactyla. The taxa was defined, the conceptual extent of the blog was not.
I challenged them to communicate an interesting but complex, technical topic concisely and clearly to a wider audience.
Over the next couple of weeks I will be introducing the class to you and their blogs as guest postings. Enjoy…, and please let us know what you think about each.