DIRECTED STUDY WITH JEFFREY LANGHOLZ
“Jillian Acker, guest lecturer for Professor Langholz’s Conservation Project Design and Evaluation Fall 2018 Class.”
Throughout my semester directed study with Professor Jeffrey Langholz as my mentor, I learned more than I could have ever imagined. My directed study, which complimented an internship that I did with Marine Conservation Institute’s Global Ocean Refuge System was an opportunity for me to gain insight on marine protected area evaluation, and strengthen skills that I developed throughout my time as an International Environmental Policy Ocean and Coastal Resource Management Study at the Middlebury Institute. During my directed study in Fall 2018, I read through thousands and thousands of pages of marine protected area management plans, which enabled me to identify the strengths and weaknesses of park management in order to evaluate the success of the protected areas in terms of biodiversity value, enforcement and compliance, regulations, and management. I learned what works and what does not work in terms of park management, developed skills that enabled me to identify a successful park from one that does not add value to the marine ecosystem, and provided me with a foundation that will benefit my future career. I evaluated a marine protected area and projected that analysis into a conservation plan using the software Miradi. Miradi, a tool for conservation planners, was taught to me in a class, Conservation Project Design and Evaluation by Professor Langholz last fall. This fall I took what I learned from last year’s course and built on those skills by teaching myself new components of the software. Upon the completion of my project, I taught an hour and a half lecture to Professor Langholz’s current class in which I explained my directed study/internship, talked about the process of evaluating marine protected areas, explained my conservation plan, and gave them a lesson on features of the software that were not covered by the professor under this term’s syllabus.