Spring 2014 – SMEA 514 – Marine Pollution Management – Special Theme (3 credits)
Oil in the Arctic – Decision Making Under Conflict and Uncertainty: Exploring the Environmental and Human Dimensions of Risk from Oil in a Changing Arctic.
The course will examine risks from marine transportation and oil development in the Arctic in the face of changing physical environments, ecosystems, and the human communities that depend upon them. Graduate students from programs across campus will study threats from oil in the context of conflicting values and human-induced changes in the Arctic, with a focus on decision-making affecting the future of the Arctic region and beyond. Understanding these problems in a global context will be enhanced by guest lectures from NGOs, industry, and academia.
The course provides understanding of theory and practice for environmental policy decision-making under conditions of uncertainty, social, and political conflict, in the context of Arctic development. Continuing retreat of Arctic sea ice has opened the continental margin to increasing marine shipping and new oil exploration in an area that could hold 10% of the world’s remaining petroleum. Arctic shipping is increasing with commercial sea routes opening for both cargo and passenger traffic with associated pollution risks. Taught in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, students gain experience in addressing problems in the context of the real world requirements of an ocean management agency.
Offered by the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs through the Future of Ice initiative of the Colleges of the Environment and Arts and Sciences.