Course code:



I - Introductory

Class size limit:


Typically offered:

Upon occasion

This course extends conservation management thinking on what are ‘healthy’ marine ecosystems, specifically to include local social values. We investigate ways to capture community perspectives on marine conservation, using social arts practice to enable expression of perceptions/values/knowledge through visual narratives. The course will include recorded lectures, and a weekly real-time discussion session on both lectures and reading material. Assigned readings focus on participatory marine conservation management; community engagement methods; social arts practice; visual ethnography; visual communication and arts-based research.

Course evaluation will be based on project work, short presentations and assigned readings. The project work includes (1) contribution to a group visual research project on representing local marine issues, and (2) an individual creative research project that incorporates public perceptions research (e.g. how do people value the marine environment) with an emphasis on visual expression of values. The research element might interrogate existing virtual visual resources, or collect new visual representations through on-line ‘surveying’. The individual projects will be summarised in a final report that will include an element of evaluation, by using action research to critically examine your expectations, intentions, and observations of the research process, as well as outcomes. Students will also be evaluated on several short presentations on assigned course material, and on written responses to assigned readings, recorded weekly in a conceptual journal.

The course is a companion to but not a prerequisite for a subsequent course that will include a practical field component where, as a group, we design and implement a community-engaged social art project on a local marine conservation issue in Frenchman’s Bay.


Permission of instructor; suitable for any student interested in combining human studies, arts and design, and environmental science.

Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.