CFR 590B Conservation and Protected Areas Management in Human Landscapes


Instructors: Kristiina Vogt (; Van Kane (; Bianca Perla (


DAYS and TIME: M, W from 9:30 – 10:50






·         Class participation [10%]

·         ½ page write up on weekly readings (to be emailed in before class meeting) [20%]

·         Student(s) lead presentation and provide background material prior to presentation in class of either (1) a case study of protected areas using premises or (2) use a paper that speaks to one of these premises [35%]

·         Class paper or essay due Finals Week or earlier if able to (no more than 10 double spaced pages) entitled “New Visions of Protected Areas for the 21st Century”. Paper should examine the validity of the premises in a Real World situation and should build the ‘storyline’ using class lectures, weekly reading materials and student presentations [35%]



Class goals: Learn about the issues, problems and solutions for protected areas around the world since they exist in human landscapes. This seminar will examine the historical, ecological, human dimensions, and management issues that are challenging the development and the maintenance of protected areas.


We address the main questions: What are protected areas protecting? What are the implications for Park sustainability if people do not want Parks? How much do protected areas have to be marketed today to be accepted by society? How much do Parks really conserve biodiversity? How does one operationalize the development of protected areas when humans have divergent values for them and when there is a need to provide sustainable livelihoods in rural areas? and How successful are protected areas today?


Guest lecturers will present international and Pacific Northwest US cases in forests and in marine ecosystems that will examine the policy, social dimensions, and the role of science and informatics in protected areas management. Four premises will be used to focus class discussions (provided below) and class participants should be able to defend or argue against each premise at the end of the class. Each class participant will also be able to articulate a vision for protected areas for the 21st century based on class lectures and presentations, and reading materials provided in class.



NOTE: class lecture schedule may change based on guest lecturer calendars



Week 1: General Introduction: Premises for Class; History of Protected Areas

Jan 4 – wed

Bianca Perla [class instructor, UW] “History of Protected Areas; What are Protected Areas Protecting?”

Week 2: Introduce Issues with Protected Areas and Creating Protected Areas

Jan 9 - mon

Bianca Perla and input from Albright grand-daughter on “How National Park Service was Created in the United States”

Jan 11 - wed

Jon Hoekstra [Senior Scientist, Global Priorities Group, Nature Conservancy, Washington] “What is the Conservation Status of the World”

Week 3: Conservation Status Globally

Jan 16 - mon


Jan 18 - wed

Van Kane [class instructor, UW] “Yellowstone case – introduce issues with Protected Areas” - bitter opposition to its creation, exploitation of its resources, a changing and conflicting set of missions, problems in ecosystem management, scholarly consideration of it as an ICDP, degraded and manipulated ecosystems, etc.

Week 4: Global and Local Dimensions of Protected Areas and Conservation

Jan 23 - mon

Toral Patel-Weynand [Director, International Biological Informatics Program, USGS – National Program Office, Virginia] “International Political Institutions, Biological Informatics and Networks of Protected Areas”

Jan 25 - wed

Guest Lecturer “Challenges in Being a Small Non-profit in Conservation”

Week 5: The Human Dimensions of Protected Areas

Jan 30 - mon

Patrick Christie [School of Marine Affairs, Jackson School of International Studies, UW] “Integrated Assessment of MPA’s and the importance of measuring human dimensions in a rigorous and timely manner”

Feb 1 - wed

Gretchen Muller [Regional Education Project Manager, National Wildlife Federation, Washington] “Debt-for nature Swaps, Forest Conservation and the Bolivian Landscape”

Week 6: Science and Adaptive Management in Protected Areas

Feb 6 - mon

Regina Rochefort [Science Advisor North Cascades National Park, Washington] “How Science Informs Management in Parks”

Feb 8 - wed

Guest Lecturer “Lessons on Adaptive Management and Policy”

Week 7: Scale and Building a Vision to Include Humans in Protected Landscapes

Feb 13 - mon

Kristiina Vogt [class instructor, UW] “Scale in Human and Wildland Landscapes” or Guest Speaker “Establishing Protected Areas in China”

Feb 15 - wed

Guest Speaker “Vision for the 21st Century. How to Manage Growth and Open Space”

Week 8: Student Presentations of a Protected Area

Feb 20 - mon


Feb 22 - wed

Two student presentation (30 minutes each, 10 minutes discussion)

Week 9: Student Presentations of a Protected Area

Feb 27 - mon

Two student presentation (30 minutes each, 10 minutes discussion)

Mar 1 - wed

Two student presentation (30 minutes each, 10 minutes discussion)

Week 10: Student Presentations of a Protected Area

Mar 6 - mon

Two student presentation (30 minutes each, 10 minutes discussion)

Mar 8 - wed

Two student presentation (30 minutes each, 10 minutes discussion)

Week 11: Student Presentations of a Protected Area

Mar 13 - mon

Two student presentation (30 minutes each, 10 minutes discussion)

Mar 15 - wed

Group Discussion: Were the Premises Supported and How Did All Case Studies Inform the Premises Introduced at Beginning of Class?




  1. To generate a deeper understanding of the conception, history, and development of protected areas around the world.
  2. To identify the various problems facing protected areas today and identify solutions to resolve these problems.
  3. To understand how to measure human dimensions and the scales of human behavior in natural environments that impact the sustainability of protected areas
  4. To highlight key challenges faced in the management of protected areas and how these change through time.
  5. To discuss the role of protected areas in the wider context of global environmental and cultural sustainability.
  6. To discuss what approaches are needed to make the next generation engaged and committed to the development of protected areas.
  7. To introduce students to career possibilities in the field of protected area science and management.



At the end of the seminar, class participants should feel comfortable debating and arguing for or against the following Premises listed below:


Premise 1: Natural resource management and uses occur in the same landscape where protected areas are being managed for conservation but both activities currently occur independently and do not inform one another. Until both activities are managed simultaneously, conservation efforts in protected areas will not succeed.


Premise 2: Today, since most people do not want protected areas to be established in their neighborhoods and since the goals of protected areas are incompatible with the cultures and economic conditions where they are being imposed, protected area managers have to provide cultural and economic opportunities for local people for protected areas to become sustainable.


Premise 3: Most protected areas do not conserve biodiversity because biodiversity conservation has to include the diversity and complexity of habitats that only are found at the landscape scale.


Premise 4: Since the amount land area currently set aside in protected status for biodiversity conservation is inadequate and more land is being lost from its natural state because of human population growth and expansion into non-urban areas, conservation practitioners need to shift to managing wildland-urban interfaces to provide habitat for species of conservation interest.