Dr. Julie Viollaz highlights some of her recent fieldwork and its implications for conservation criminology!

http:// https://msutoday.msu.edu/360/2018/julie-viollaz-conservation-and-collegiality/

# wildlifecrime #conservationcriminology #conservationoptimism @CARNatMSU @msuresearch @julie_viollaz @Global_Wildlife @WWF @WWF_WLCrime @MSU_SCJ @ FaunaFloraInt @MSUFWClub

Please see the following flyer for this fall 2018 3-credit graduate-level online course and share with your networks. Apologies for cross-postings. Contact me with questions, comments, or enrollment instructions.


Increased globalization of illicit trade in natural resources endangers species survival, threatens the efficacy of sustainable development, deprives developing economies of billions of dollars in lost revenue opportunities, and fuels sociopolitical conflict. The United Nations identified the pace, sophistication, and scale of illegal trafficking of natural resources as an international “environmental crime crisis.” Governments around the world have acknowledged environmental crimes (EC) undermine efforts in development assistance and threaten national security; policies and programs continue to be developed in order to reduce risks to the US, its allies, and collective interests from ECs. Calls have been made for risk a management response that strengthens and synchronizes actions targeting coherent policy and behavior change interventions. One strategy to address these global and national threats is to develop better understanding of the causes and consequences of human behavior that underlie EC activities. Conservation criminology is one such strategy.

In this 3-credit online graduate-level course, we will discuss the:

  • main actors and social systems driving ECs as well as working to reduce EC-related risks;
  • first, second, and in some cases third order effects of EC on human, species, and socio-ecological systems
  • diversity and overarching characteristics of efforts to reduce risks to humans, species, and socio-ecological systems;
  • dominant theories of change theories from risk, conservation, and criminology related to the causes and consequences of EC; and
  • challenges and opportunities for the road ahead.


By the end of the semester, students should be about the demonstrate the following:

  1. familiarity with the premise, ontology, and epistemology of conservation criminology;
  2. knowledge about the conservation criminology dimensions of contemporary ECs;
  3. critical evaluation of solutions for resolving EC-related risks using principles from class; and
  4. ability to robustly engage in interdisciplinary thinking, writing, and speaking with regards to the EC crisis

The long planned collaboration between my conservation criminology lab, Vinh University, Global Wildlife Conservation, World Wildlife Fund, Flora and Fauna International is getting off the ground! Dr. Julie Viollaz is leading the group from MSU, and was also recently named a GWC Associate. This project is going to be innovative on multiple levels and I’m so appreciative of Dr. Barney Long pulling us all together! I head to Vinh University for an extremely short but important trip; I’ll get to meet my collaborators in person (finally), introduce myself to the field research team, and hopefully conduct a site visit to one of our field sites.

I’m heading to King Mongkut’s University of Technology in Thonburi, Thailand to teach a conservation social science short course for local university students and conservation practitioners. With support from the Society for Conservation Biology‘s Asia Section and Social Science Working Group, this week long course is going to cover a range of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed method approaches. It will be exciting to collectively build our capacity to think about the science of human-wildlife conflict, protected area management, illegal wildlife trade and public participation. I’m scheduled to give a public talk on my lab’s East Asia-related conservation criminology research and do a short site visit to see otter conservation in action. Also, my dad has asked me to be on the lookout for a red Buddha souvenir, because the two green Buddhas I brought him home last year weren’t sufficient…