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EV260 – State of the Rockies: Conserving Local Landscapes

State of the Rockies: Conserving Local Landscapes asks CC students to momentarily refocus their attention from the global to the local, and to take a closer look at environmental struggles being waged closer to their new home in Colorado Springs.

Image and banner image by Abigail Censky '18.
Image and banner image by Abigail Censky '18.

Instructor(s)

Tyler Cornelius email

The relations between human beings and the non-human world have never seemed so urgent or troubled as they do today. Concerns over climate change, ocean acidification, disappearing grasslands and forests, soil depletion, dwindling water resources, and environmental catastrophe fill the pages of our newspapers and flash across facebook, twitter, instagram, and other mass media. On a global scale, such problems can seem so large and so vexing that they appear literally unsolvable - where individuals, communities, or governments can’t marshal the resources to adequately address the challenges posed. Yet, in shifting our attention from a bigger picture to a smaller one, local efforts to protect our natural environment can offer lessons that are portable and pragmatic, even empowering. This special half-block course asks CC students to momentarily refocus their attention from the global to the local, and to take a closer look at environmental struggles being waged closer to their new home in Colorado Springs. Run in conjunction with the State of the Rockies Program this course will take students out of the classroom and put them into the field, on the front lines of environmental conservation efforts here on the southern end of Colorado’s Front Range. By studying the history of land use in Colorado, talking with conservation experts, and visiting the places they are working to conserve, this course will examine how we arrived at our environmental present through a series of human choices, made within the constraints imposed by the non-human world around us. From its towering mountains to its vast prairies, Colorado Springs draws countless people eager to appreciate its great natural spaces. Yet managing those resources has been more difficult than it may seem. We invite students to join us in learning about the nearby natural landscapes, challenges faced in their management and protection, and where we might go in shaping a more effective conservation future.

Also listed as: SW200