May 21, 2020

ENVS Summer Reading Group

The Environmental Studies Program would like to invite all members of the L&C community–students (current and future, faculty, staff, an alumni–to join in a summer reading group on conservation.


In summer 2020 Lewis & Clark’s Environmental Studies Program sponsored a reading group on conservation in preparation for our annual Symposium, and as part of ENVX Academy, a suite of online resources and events complementing our curriculum and co-curriculum. 

The reading group included prospective and admitted Lewis & Clark students, returning students, alumni, and faculty and staff; we learned together about contemporary conservation and finalized our plans for Symposium. While the reading group has concluded, please contact us if you would like to participate in the Symposium.

More information  

A full schedule of conservation reading group topics and readings is here. All readings were available for free via Zotero; we provided help and guidance as needed.

We focused 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 covered broad opportunities and challenges facing contemporary conversation, examined this impasse between conservation science and implementation, then moved to specific topics we hope to cover during Symposium in fall.

Here are the initial discussion topics. For more information about what was covered, 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.