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Classroom Resources: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Between the Devil and Deep Blue Sea
by Jim Robbins
Volume 10, number 2

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Discussion Questions

1.    What is the conservation dilemma at the heart of this article?  What is the “devil” referred to in the article’s title?

2.    Trace connections between Antarctic ice shelves, Everglades National Park, and the conservation of the Florida Panther.

3.    Why is the Florida Everglades a particularly important case study?  Can you think of other sites where the conflict between traditional approaches to conservation and restoration and newer ideas of “managed retreat” will be important to consider?

4.    In your own words, explain why sea levels may rise higher in North America than in other parts of the world. 

5.    What are some of the specific different ways that the inherent uncertainty of science influences conservation planning and decision-making related to predictions of sea level rise? 

Websites for Further Information

•    Congressional testimony of Everglades National Park Superintendent Dan Kimball on risks of sea level rise:

Sea Level Rise in the News

•    Sea’s rise may prove the greater in Northeast (New York Times, May 27, 2009):
•    Coral fossils suggest that sea level can rise rapidly (New York Times, April 15, 2009):

Key Concepts

•    Ecological restoration
•    Conservation planning
•    Climate change
•    Sea level rise