Science, Policy & Politics: Class Project!!


This past Fall 2016, graduate students in my (i.e. Dr. Weinkle) Science, Policy & Politics (MCOP 592) turned out an impressive looking website on Beach Nourishment.

The course sought to map a knowledge controversy or looked at another way, a controversy that makes use of difference knowledges.  So... people fight over facts in order to fight over values.

It was my pleasure to guide the class through their inquiry and help them grapple with conflicting information and perspectives.

The project began with a controversy of interest: Recreational fishermen and beach nourishment projects.  The class focused hard on fishermen, prodded the peer reviewed literature and information available from other sources: businesses groups, online forums, and NGO's.  At this point, they came to an "Aha!" moment:  There are lots of facts, ways of knowing about these projects, and interests demonstrate preferences for each.  Fishermen are but one interest involved in a far larger social, political and scientific controversy surrounding beach nourishment.    

***In more recent years, the US Army Corps of Engineers has changed their vernacular from "Beach nourishment"to storm risk reduction projects- It's spin either way.  But then, strategic planning is now called self- study =).

And so, they branched out... Who else is involved here?  What do they say? Where do they get their information?  How does everyone fit together?

Check out the site here: http://knowledgecontroversy-2016.weebly.com/

While informative, keep in mind that the site is a class project and a learning tool.  All error is due the clumsiness of the learning experience (including, my own).

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