Biocultural Diversity and Conservation

This is a seminar course which introduces students to the field of biocultural diversity and conservation, emphasizing transdisciplinary approaches to understanding the interrelationships between culture, ecology, and language. This course features lectures and discussions by key UH Mānoa faculty in anthropology, biology, botany, Hawaiian studies, natural resources, linguistics, literature, law, and more.

At the end of this course students will be able to:

  • understand the inter-relationships between biological, cultural and linguistic diversity
  • articulate the challenges inherent to quantitative approaches to measuring diversity and assessing the status of conservation efforts
  • think systematically about various fields of traditional knowledge
  • perceive how language influences the way humans experience and conceptualize the biological and physical environment
  • provide specific examples of issues entangled in the relationships between humans and island environments
  • reflect upon environmental, ecological, and human futures

Syllabus available at


  • Gary Holton (Linguistics)
  • Tamara Ticktin (Botany)
  • Alex Mawyer (Pacific Island Studies)

Offered as both IS 750 and BOT 612
Fall 2019, Wednesdays 3:00-5:30 pm, Moore 575