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The Big Bad Wolf or Symbol of the American Wilderness?

Gray Wolf Reintroduction in Idaho


Author(s)

Morgan Gray
Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management
University of California, Berkeley
morgan.gray@berkeley.edu
Mario K. Klip
Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management
University of California, Berkeley
Alex R. Krohn
Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management
University of California, Berkeley
Ryan A. Marsh
Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management
University of California, Berkeley
Leslie A. McGinnis
Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management
University of California, Berkeley

Abstract

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.


Objectives

  • Create a cohesive position statement in a group, even though the position may be contrary to one's personal feelings.
  • Collaboratively transcend disciplines and include multiple, differing perspectives to make a management recommendation based on more than traditional natural sciences approaches.
  • Apply information from a well-studied case in Idaho to an emergent wolf-management case in California.
  • Distinguish between the social and scientific aspects of wildlife management implementation.
  • Understand the challenges of integrating values from differing discourses in a complex socio-ecological system.

Keywords

Wolf; wolves; gray wolf; Canis lupus; Endangered Species Act; ESA; rancher; hunter; environmentalist; public opinion; environmental ethics; Idaho; California

Topical Areas

Ethics, Legal issues, Policy issues, Regulatory issues, Science and the media, Social issues, Social justice issues

Educational Level

Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division, Graduate

Format

PDF, PowerPoint

Type / Methods

Analysis (Issues), Debate, Dilemma/Decision, Discussion, Public Hearing, Role-Play

Language

English

Subject Headings

Wildlife Management  |   Natural Resource Management  |   Ecology  |   Environmental Science  |   Biology (General)  |   Sociology  |   Interdisciplinary Sciences  |  


Date Posted

1/9/2014

Teaching Notes

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Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.

Supplemental Materials

A PowerPoint presentation titled "Overview Presentation" (use the link below to access it) is available which instructors can use to provide an introduction and background to the case.

  
  Overview Presentation

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