This course investigates relationships between human cultures and the natural world. Linkages between the two are increasingly seen as keys to sustainable development and addressing world issues such as poverty and food supply. Over time, man’s relationship with nature has changed, especially as technology plays a greater role in our lives, and globalization begins to homogenize cultural views. Emerging areas of study focus on the links between culture and biodiversity. Definitions of culture reflect this connection by including the co_evolution of the natural environment and the shared systems of beliefs, values, norms, artifacts and institutions that commonly are part of the definition of culture. By exploring our changing cultural attitude towards nature through the built environment, agriculture, transportation, tourism, and the economy, the importance of cultural as well as biological diversity will be established. // According to the Convention on Biological Diversity (1992) sponsored by the United Nations, biological diversity is defined as the variation of life at the level of genes, species, and ecosystems. As cultures continue to evolve and be impacted by globalization, our relationship with nature is also modified. Awareness of the impacts of climate change has focused attention of the importance of biological diversity and its integral value to anthropocentric uses. Cultural diversity may increase the stability of social systems, just as biological diversity can maintain resilient ecosystems.
Special Topics 400-level: Cultural Links to Biodiversity
Advancing and Professional Studies
Monday, July 23, 2018 to Friday, September 14, 2018