ELCM specialization changed to ‘Ecosystems Conservation and Management’

Authored by Viola Taubmann (MEM Candidate, 2021)

With the longest title among all MEM specializations, the name Ecosystems and Land Conservation and Management (ELCM) continued to raise confusion among students and employers alike (is it EMLC? ECML? What exactly does it stand for?). After consulting with students and faculty, the name has been changed to Ecosystems Conservation and Management.

Mark Bradford, the specialization coordinator, is confident that the simple change still captures the specialization’s breadth and depth, while being more easily used and understood. One of nine specializations, which all MEM students are required to choose, the Ecosystems Conservation and Management specialization provides a pathway for building student expertise to develop the scientific, cultural, ethical, financial and political means to conserve biological diversity and sustain ecological functions and services across landscapes. It gives students the knowledge and skills to become thoughtful stewards of the environment, to ensure that human and nonhuman species can coexist across landscapes. Stewardship ensures that ecosystems are resilient and thereby have enduring capacity to be productive. It further means ensuring that species within ecosystems—the mindboggling variety of microbes and plants and animals—can fulfill their biological natures and functional roles as interdependent members of ecosystems in support of human and nonhuman life alike.

While the purpose and scope of the specialization have not been changed, shortening its name will help to reduce some confusion among students, and will smooth communication about the specialization to prospective students and employers.

Specializations are designed to offer clear pathways for subject immersion and ensure that students obtain sufficient depth in their chosen area of study. The name Ecosystems Conservation and Management will provide more clarity for employers and students will no longer have to explain a particularly long name when describing their area of focus at F&ES (soon to be YSE).