One of the first elective classes I took for this major was NR 435: Contemporary Conservation Issues and Environmental Awareness. This course act as an introduction on basic ecological relationships and the world’s major contemporary issues. This is accomplished by studying current environmental conditions and their interconnectedness between society and economic conditions. A variety of topics were discussed in this course such as, biodiversity and evolution, environmental toxicology, water resources and climate change consequences and response. Most of the course readings were from peer-reviewed studies, new stories and even Ted Talks. This made the class interesting because it proves that the topics and content taught in this course are actually contemporary issues, affecting individuals today.
While this class focused on ecological issues and concerns, both the social consequences and the economic impact of each topic was also addressed. As this class covers a wide variety of topics, I was introduced to a multitude of topics that I did not actually realize were conversation issues! Such as the Food Systems topic, specifically when it came to industrialized agriculture, I did not even know the extent of its environmental and social issues. I believe this course has helped me become a more critical thinker and reinforced the concept that modern issues and concerns have far-reaching consequences. Overall, I think this course gave me an extensive overview of modern ecological issues and repercussions that people face.
By having an awareness and understanding of the world around me and the issues it faces, I become a more well-round and knowledgeable citizen. As this course introduced me to conservation and sustainability issues that I never heard of before, it has continued to make me wonder what other major conservation problems are out there that I am unaware of! I think this understanding is vital for conducting and/or promoting sustainability projects/research because it allows individuals to fully understand the social, economic and environmental impacts of said project/research.