ENVIRON 214S: Ethical Challenges in Environmental Conservation

Readers requirements: Anyone with professional experience in environmental science or environmental-related policy.

  1. Course Information
  2. Schedule
  3. Giving Feedback

Course Information

Instructor: Prof. Rebecca Vidra

Examination of current ethical challenges in environmental conservation. Topics include the philosophical basis and challenges of mankind’s responsibility to the natural world; prioritization of often conflicting conservation efforts; balancing the needs of humans and the environment; the disputed role of scientists as advocates; and the philosophical and political obstacles to conservation efforts. Analysis of the evolving environmental movement, in relation to current issues.


Student Writing Assignment

What are students writing? Argumentative essay dealing with some aspect of environmental ethics.

For whom?

Where would such writing typically be found?

Why would someone usually read it?


Here are the deadlines for students and readers as they pertain to the Reader Project:

-If I receive specific due dates/deadlines from professor, add them here-

Mtg #1:  INTRO: Discuss student’s “personal essay” they will write at the start of course (Not to give feedback, just as conversation topic).
Mtgs #2 & 3:  On argumentative essay (details TBD)

Link to Syllabus: Add syllabus if I receive one from professor

Giving Feedback (general information that will apply to most courses):

Giving feedback is the activity around which the entire project is designed. You may have considerable professional experience giving feedback on writing — whether to colleagues, employees, or other contexts — or perhaps this is an fairly novel experience. Given the aims and nature of the Reader Project, we are hoping that our volunteers engage with student writing in a particular way–one that is quite different from what is conventionally done in other contexts.

The primary aim of the project is to help students really understand what it means to write for readers, rather than as a school assignment. Think about the following when you give feedback, whether in writing or in real time:

  • Respond as a reader rather than as an editor. (They can get basic editorial help from others.) Focus on sharing your reactions to the draft as a user of such writing. What are you thinking as you read? More

Instructor’s response questions (things for the volunteers for this specific course to consider when reading student’s work):