Distributed Graduate Seminars: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Studying Land Conservation
University at Buffalo Law School
Adena R. Rissman
University of Wisconsin-Madison
June 30, 2011
Pace Enviromental Law Review Online Companion, Vol. 2, p. 88, 2011
Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-003
Adapting to the many changes associated with climate change is an increasingly important issue and nowhere more so than in efforts to conserve private land. Interdisciplinary distributed graduate seminars conducted in Spring 2011 at six universities investigated whether current land conservation laws and institutions appear up to the task of protecting land in the context of change and avenues for improving the adaptive capacity of such institutions.
Distributed graduate seminars are courses coordinated among multiple universities. They begin with a core of interested faculty who organize graduate students at their universities to collect or analyze dispersed data. This article gives a brief introduction to distributed graduate seminars and then details the experience and insights gained conducting such a seminar for land conservation and climate change. The distributed graduate seminar offers advantages by allowing for the synthesis of diverse data, the integration of multiple disciplinary perspectives, and the person-power enabled by student research. For students, the distributed seminar provides opportunities to engage with a broader academic community, benefit from new perspectives, and contribute in a meaningful way to a large endeavor.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 15
Date posted: July 15, 2011 ; Last revised: July 1, 2013