Merging Polarized Views of Nonconsumptive and Consumptive Natural Resources Use in the University Classroom

The introductory level fish and wildlife conservation course at Mississippi State University has an enrollment of over 100 students each semester. Students in the class generally exhibit a diversity of attitudes about fish and wildlife conservation that range from anti-hunting to consumptive and extractive use advocates. Finding common ground among these students is challenging, but essential for the creation of an interactive, learning environment that focuses on sustainable use of natural resources. Ecological principles of fish and wildlife conservation are linked to current issues through class discussions. The class offers a setting in which wildlife and fisheries science majors can discover the diversity of stakeholders and issues that influence natural resource conservation while learning basic ecological and conservation principles. Discussion topics and methods used in this class are presented.

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