Courses Taught @ U of A
Environmental and Conservation Sciences Field School
The ENCS Field School is a 2-week long second-year field course taught in Northern Alberta during the Spring Semester. Students will reside in Portage College and work in groups studying a variety of subjects in their natural setting, learning methods and skills for fieldwork, scientific investigation and data gathering. Scott Nielsen co-teaches the Wildlife segment, introducing students to boreal forest habitats and animal and common wildlife study techniques. Groups will be involved in doing transect surveys and gathering camera-trapping data to learn to identify common animal species in the wild and their tracks, and assess wildlife presence, distribution and abundance.
Principles of Managing Natural Diversity
This course provides a theoretical foundation for conservation science, including population, community and landscape ecology and their application to real-world challenges. We also explore the wider ethical, philosophical and sociopolitical arenas in which conservation decisions are made and implemented. I aim to instill in students the scientific tools to evaluate and develop conservation strategies for maintaining diversity in human-altered systems.
Conservation Planning is a quantitative, inter-disciplinary applied science that prioritizes conservation actions in a spatially explicit manner. It seeks to understand trade-offs between biological, social and economic factors associated with land use activities. The course is a combination of computing labs that demonstrate key principles and software, lectures to discuss key issues, and a student-led final project to apply key concepts and quantitative techniques. Special emphasis is given to Alberta’s land use planning challenges, although North American examples and exercises are also used.