The Badger Herald highlights new summer course on conservation in Botswana

Environmental studies courses often focus on the United States, but a Summer Term seminar will take a close look at Botswana, a developing nation in Africa. The Badger Herald featured this new UW–Madison offering, “Botswana: Ecology and Environment,” in its April 24 issue.

Cooper Rosin, a conservation biologist and postdoctoral researcher at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, will teach the two-credit course, which runs July 16 through Aug. 12.

“Botswana as a nation offers so much potential for us to better understand our natural world and contribute to its preservation while promoting sustainable development,” he told The Badger Herald.

Elephants in Botswana
Elephants at a water hole in Botswana.

According to the article, UW–Madison is collaborating with Botswana’s government to learn how the country assesses and addresses conservation issues. Though many of its citizens live in poverty, the nation is rich in natural resources and biodiversity thanks to the Kalahari Desert and Okavango Delta.

Botswana has benefited from a stable democracy that treats these resources with care, Rosin notes.

“It’s a somewhat rare example of a country having these biological riches and still having them be mostly intact,” he said in the article, noting how European settlers took a much different approach in America.

Though Botswana is a developing nation, it is wealthy compared to many of its neighbors. This has also helped the government choose conservation over exploitation, Rosin says.

The seminar will explore these issues through readings and discussions. Experts from Botswana may contribute to the course as well. Throughout the experience, students will consider what other countries, especially the United States, can learn from Botswana’s environmental systems and strategies.

“Botswana: Ecology and Environment” is one of more than 1,000 courses UW–Madison will offer this summer. Summer Term includes face-to-face and online courses, most of which take place during sessions lasting three, four, or eight weeks. Summer classes are a popular way for students to stay on track for graduation—and make the most of the UW–Madison experience.

To learn more this course or to enroll, visit MyUW.

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