ANTH 469A | ENVIR 495F

Ecology, Economy, and Politics of Resource-Extraction Ecosystems

Spring Quarter 2014
Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30-10:50, MEB 235
Field trips Saturdays April 19, May 3, and May 31

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Readings for Week 7: Shellfish and the Ecology of Scale

Tuesday, May 13

Today use the lens of shellfish to consider the ecology and economy of Puget Sound.

We begin by looking at parts of Puget Sound Partnership's 2013 State of the Sound Report. It is long and detailed, but contains a lot of useful charts and tables. Please read over the Introduction and the chapter on performance management, and then skim through the vital signs section, looking especially at those vital signs indicators and targets in the sections on water quality, healthy human population, and habitat that are particularly relevant for shellfish production (you should know by now what they are). After you have done this, but before midnight on Monday, May 12, please post 200-300 words on why you think the various initiatives to restore Puget Sound have made so little progress.

Thursday, May 15

For our final session on aquaculture, we want to look at international trade and international sanctions, and the ways that they shape aquaculture beyond just ecology, to look at issues of food quality and food safety. We are going to read two things about shrimp aquaculture that highlight the political and cultural side of intensive food production, something that you will see in the dairy farms we visit as well. Begin with a rather frightening account of what can go wrong, especially when we push productivity at the expense of resilience: After reading these two sources, and by midnight on Wednesday, May 14, post 200-300 words on one of two topics:
  • What does the shrimp example teach us about how far we should go in sacrificing resilience for productivity in aquaculture or other food production?
  • What does the shrimp example teach us about different kinds of scientific approaches to resource-production problems?