Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation
Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation 2018;16:12-6 DOI: 10.1016/j.pecon.2017.11.003
Essays and Perspectives
The benefits of evolution education for natural resources managers
Israel D. Parkera,, , Aaron N. Fackab, Therese A. Catanachc, Eddie K. Lyonsd
a Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, 578 John Kimbrough Blvd., College Station, TX 77843, United States
b Oregon State University, Institute for Natural Resources, Portland, OR 97207, United States
c The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103, United States
d McNeese State University, McNeese State University, Harold and Pearl Dripps Department of Agricultural Sciences, 4205 Ryan Street, Lake Charles, LA 70629, United States
Received 26 July 2017, Accepted 16 November 2017
Abstract

Managers are a strength of policy implementation in the changing and complex landscape of natural resources management. We argue future managers will require additional educational emphases such as coursework in evolution to confront emerging issues in this dynamic profession. An emphasis on more management-oriented evolution education at the collegiate level will help the next cohort of managers as they face changing management and policy realities. Our goal for this paper is to demonstrate the need for training in evolutionary theory for all natural resources professionals by (1) showing emerging needs for evolutionary theory in management, (2) detailing the strengths and uses for evolutionary theory, and (3) recommending strategies for increasing wildlife biologists’ knowledge of evolution and its potential effect on wildlife management. Incorporating evolutionary thought and foresight into management decisions essentially forces managers to consider each of their actions and the complex set of consequences that may arise in both the short and long-term. We believe that through academic and post-graduate training, evolutionary theory can be understood and applied by managers in decision-making processes.

Keywords
Conservation, Curriculum, Education, Evolution, Management