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Ryan A. Marsh
PhD Student
Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management
University of California, Berkeley
The Big Bad Wolf or Symbol of the American Wilderness?: Gray Wolf Reintroduction in Idaho

Students enrolled in natural resource programs typically have classroom experience in science-based curricula with little exposure as to how to apply that science to real-life issues. This case study was designed to introduce students to understanding the policy ramifications of science and to provide an opportunity for them to make management decisions based on that understanding. The case follows the reintroduction of gray wolves to the Western United States, with an emphasis on Idaho and California.  Students begin by reading a general introductory handout and then proceed to a role-playing exercise involving three stakeholder groups: hunters, ranchers, or environmental enthusiasts. Each group is provided with a second handout and a video clip specific to their viewpoint. Intergroup and intragroup discussion ensures that students come away with a nuanced understanding of a complex issue. A PowerPoint presentation is also included to help run the case in class. Although designed for use in an upper division undergraduate- or graduate-level environmental science course, the case is also appropriate for courses in conservation biology, wildlife management, or environmental ethics.