On February 25th, we had the privilege of having Dr. Jim Sanderson speak to Catawba students and Salisbury community members on the future of conservation.
Dr. Sanderson argued, that for the longest time, the term ‘Conservation Biology’ has been used by researchers, as a way to promote their own selfish interests in studying species but doing absolutely nothing to protect them. He said in order to protect species diversity, it was important that researchers first address the underlying problems threatening species survival, then conduct their studies. He added that there was no point in studying a species such as fishing cats which are facing human induced threats, yet not address their population decline and watch them go extinct.
Conservation is a social science that involves working with communities on the ground to convert their negative actions into positive actions that promote species diversity. He added that Biology should be removed from Conservation as it is a way for large NGO’s and university programs to mint money yet do no conservation on the ground. Dr. Sanderson applauded the efforts of Catawba College in promoting a multi-disciplinary Environment and Sustainability degree program that prepared students for meaningful conservation work.