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Environmental Studies

ENVS Summer Reading Group

May 21, 2020

Do you have a passion for conserving nonhuman species and habitats? That’s what ENVX Symposium 2020-21 is all about! And in summer 2020 Lewis & Clark’s Environmental Studies Program will sponsor a reading group on conservation in preparation for Symposium.

The reading group will include prospective and admitted Lewis & Clark students, returning students, alumni, and faculty and staff; we’ll learn together about contemporary conservation and finalize our plans for Symposium. Whether you consider yourself a beginner or an expert in conservation, please join us!

To participate, please complete this form. A full schedule of topics and readings is here. All readings are available for free via Zotero; we will provide help and guidance as needed.

We’ll focus on a major challenge facing contemporary conservation biology: the gap between conservation science, i.e., the best available knowledge, and implementation, i.e., what is actually being done. As suggested in a recent special issue of Biological Conservation, bridging the gap between conservation science and implementation may require fundamental, creative rethinking of the entire field (Maas, Toomey, and Loyola 2019).

Our readings will cover broad opportunities and challenges facing contemporary conversation, examine this impasse between conservation science and implementation, then move to specific topics we hope to cover during Symposium in fall.

Here are the initial discussion topics. For more information, please see the full schedule.

  • Our conservation questions
  • The current state of biodiversity
  • The conservation response: Half-Earth?
  • Classic and contemporary conservation in the Anthropocene
  • Conservation science vs. implementation I
  • Conservation science vs. implementation II
  • [Topics for final five weeks to be determined by group in preparation for Symposium]

For more information, please contact the reading group moderator, Prof. Jim Proctor, or the Environmental Studies Program at Lewis & Clark College.

Cited article

Maas, Bea, Anne Toomey, and Rafael Loyola. 2019. “Exploring and Expanding the Spaces between Research and Implementation in Conservation Science.” Biological Conservation 240 (December): 108290.

For more information: or sign up here.