Winter 2019 – FISH 511A Special Topics: Historical Ecology


Wednesdays, 1:30-3:30pm, discussion course
Instructor: Chelsea Wood

Long-term data are vital for developing realistic management baselines; unfortunately, these data are exceedingly rare. Scientists and managers who are interested in understanding an ecosystem within its historical context have had to get creative in order to derive reliable data on past ecosystems states. In this course, we will survey the variety of creative approaches that historical ecologists take to obtain data about the past. We will discuss the use of ship’s logs, fisheries landings records, naturalist’s accounts, living persons’ memories, family photographs, museum specimens, maps, seafood menus, and more. Our approach will be to read and discuss the fundamental papers for each method, with the goal of equipping students to use established historical ecology methods and derive new methods for their ecosystem of interest.


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