Short Courses

Each academic quarter, LAFF hosts visiting experts at the Bren campus to instruct advanced courses in coastal marine resources management with a focus on insight and applied techniques for fisheries management professionals relevant to Latin America.

  • Property Rights in Fisheries: Experiences and Recent Developments in Latin America

    Hugo Salgado

    Vice Chancellor of Management and Finance, Univeristy of Talca, Chile

    This short course reviews the theory and practice of the use of property rights to manage fisheries in developing countries, with an special emphasis in Latin America. The course reviews the theoretical foundations of the use of property rights, in particular in the context of developing countries, such as the importance of illegal and unreported fishing and the use of taxes to fund management activities. Examples are examined using simulations to show the effects of these topics on quota markets. The class also reviews the experience and the lessons learnt with the use of individual transferable quota in Chile and Perú, since they were first implemented in 1991, the fisheries reforms in 2001 in Chile and 2009 in Perú, and the most recent update of the fisheries law in Chile in 2013. The class also examines how the legislation evolved and adapted to the context of developing countries. Finally, the experiences with TURFs and small scale aquaculture in Chile and Perú are explored.

  • Image Credit: Academy for Systems Change, Joe Hsueh

    Systems Thinking

    Joe Hsueh

    Co-founder, Academy for Systemic Change

    This workshop explores the core concepts and tools of systems thinking and how they can be applied to our daily lives through simulation games, experiential learning and interactive discussions. Through a group simulation, students learn the Iceberg Model – going from event, pattern of behavior, structure, mental model to shared vision – to help us identify and enact high-leverage interventions in a social system. The class learns how a system’s structure determines its behavior by exploring the fundamental modes of dynamic behavior: exponential growth, goal seeking, oscillation, limits to growth, and overshoot and collapse. These are basic building blocks for understanding dynamic complex systems.

  • Regulation and Governance of Marine Resources in Latin America

    Xiao Recio-Blanco, J.D.

    Director of Oceans Program, Environmental Law Institute

    This seminar examines the regulations that serve as the legal underpinning for marine resources management – from the rules and institutions, to the legal authority and mechanisms. Lectures and guest speakers will focus on providing a basic understanding of the legal framework for ocean management in the Latin American context. Case studies will include regulatory examples from small-scale fisheries (including catch-shares and self-governance), MPA zoning, and transboundary fisheries governance. Students will participate in class discussions with a selection of guest speakers and craft an individual memo and a group memo on specific regulatory topics throughout this weeklong seminar. 

  • Diver near aquaculture pod.

    Photo credit: Kydd Pollock/Marine Photobank

    Principles and Practices of Ecological Aquaculture: Concepts and Tools for the Evolution of the Blue Revolution

    Barry Costa-Pierce

    Professor & Chair of the Department of Marine Sciences, and Director of the Marine Science Center, University of New England

    This intensive course introduces by lecture and in an interactive, group study fashion, the transdisciplinary study of the world’s aquaculture ecosystems. It examines the principles of ecology (natural and social ecology) as they relate to the ecological designs, structures, functions, and social ecologies of integrated aquaculture farming ecosystems. The class studies examples from the world’s major aquaculture species and discuss their history (and “her-story”), natural and social ecologies, current status, and futures. This course also includes hours of interactive classroom and evening work by students in group studies. 

  • Shrimp aquaculture

    OceanBoy Farms/Marine Photobank

    Enhancing Coastal Social-Ecological Systems Through Aquaculture

    Hunter Lenihan

    Professor, Applied Marine and Fisheries Ecology at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management; Director, Sustainable Aquaculture Research Center (SARC)

    This seminar course explores key social and environmental themes related to the growing contribution of aquaculture to world food production. Students interact with world-renowned experts from aquaculture science, management, and industry, leading discussions that examine global seafood production, environmental sustainability, the capacity for ecosystem and fisheries enhancement, and the socio-economic implications and impacts of multiple types of aquaculture. The discussions focus on the development of aquaculture in Latin America through speakers with expertise in that region. 

  • Crabs on board a fishing boat.

    Photo credit: Matias Caillaux

    Fisheries Modeling and Stock Assessment

    Brandon Chasco

    Fisheries Population Biologist, Oregon State University

    This course provides a background in the evolution of fisheries models and how they are used to inform policies and management. The class covers fisheries models that describe the growth, reproduction, and harvest of fishes. It also covers the biological reference points derived from fisheries models, such as maximum sustainable yield and spawning potential ratio, and how these are used to inform policies and management. The course includes lectures on the history and theory of these models, as well as computer labs to demonstrate their implementation.

  • Economics of Fisheries Management

    Renato Molina

    UCSB Department of Economics

    Winter Quarter 2017

    The objective of this course is to develop a practical understanding of the main concepts of resource economics, their applications to fisheries, and their implementation in real life settings of fisheries management. The course is structured in way that the theoretical concepts covered in the classroom will be applied in the context of real-life management challenges. At the end of the course, students should have a clear understanding of (i) the linkages between fisheries biology and the economic incentives from a user’s perspective, (ii) the sources of conflict and inefficiency, and (iii) the methodologies to overcome management challenges. 


  • GIS map and GIS map layers

    Image credit: Lisa Wedding

    GIS for Marine Ecology

    Lisa Wedding

    Science Fellow, Center for Ocean Solutions

    This course focuses on marine spatial data creation, management, analysis and interpretation. Advanced GIS skills are gained through a combination of lecture, labs exercises and a final project. The final project provides an opportunity for students to apply geospatial skills to their area of interest. Topics included: introduction to coastal GIS data sources, marine data collection and management, geodesy and map projections, cartography and map production, spatial analysis and interpretation.

  • Challenge of Science Leadership

    Peter Redstone & Martin Bloxham

    Barefoot Thinking Group

    The “Challenge of Science Leadership” course is instructed as an intensive workshop over three consecutive full days. The curriculum was designed by the UK-based Barefoot Thinking Group and focuses on effective tools and techniques that early career science professionals can employ to enhance individual effectiveness as leaders within their diverse collaborative and individual professional endeavors.

    The highly interactive course draws on individual's unique experiences to unlock effective tactics for: thinking strategically (from engaging different thinking styles, to creative thinking around around scoping, scoping, analyzing, visioning, and innovating); influencing behavior (from leadership styles and giving feedback); and enabling action (from time tactics to visualizing networks, to action planning around big ideas).

  • Fellows standing with Stefan Gelcich in front of the Bren School

    Photo credit: Latin American Fisheries Fellowship

    An introduction to the study of management and conservation of coastal social-ecological systems

    Stefan Gelcich

    Associate Professor, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

    This course explores management and conservation of coastal resources through an integrated social-ecological system perspective. This perspective sees people as part of and not apart from ecosystems. In the current era of human-dominated ecosystems and a biosphere shaped by human actions from local to global scales, such a perspective is rapidly gaining ground worldwide in science, is given a strong priority among funding organizations, and is in demand in the science-policy-practice interface.

  • Fisheries Science for Policy and Management

    Miguel A. Cisneros

    Former Director General, National Institute of Fisheries of Mexico (INAPESCA)

    The course will provide students with practical insight into how science is translated into policy and management, particularly in the context of Latin America. Lectures, discussion, and analytical exercises will explore what is required for fisheries science and policy to be effective. The course emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of policy instruments, institutional arrangements, science diffusion, participatory monitoring, governance, co-management, and socio-economic considerations. Students will have opportunities to engage actual data from real fisheries, gaining familiarity with the complete process leading to decision-making in fisheries management and resource conservation. 

  • Mito Paz/Marine Photobank

    Fundamentals of Fisheries Management, Population Dynamics, and Data Poor Stock Assessment

    Todd Gedamke

    Senior Scientist and Founder, MER Consultants

    This course exposes students to the overall process of fisheries management with a focus on population dynamics and stock assessment. It's structured to use both lectures and discussions around theoretical concepts and hands-on real case studies to insure theory is grounded in practical applications. Real data sets from fisheries organizations working in Belize, and those provided by the students are used to provide students with a basic understanding of: How fisheries models work in theory and in practic; Fisheries data, data collection methods, and data evaluation techniques; Data requirements, assumptions and interpretation of a number of conventional assessment methods (e.g. length-based, production, and catch at age models); The role of stock assessment in fisheries science and biological reference points used in fisheries management (e.g. MSY) and how data and mathematical models can be used to inform management policies; andAlternative approaches in data limited situations and fisheries management in developing countries.

  • Applying Ecological Models to Manage and Conserve Fisheries Resources

    Trevor Branch

    School for Aquatic and Fisheries Science, University of Washington 

    This course offers an in depth description of computer models and mathematical models commonly used in fisheries and conservation research and management, and that form the basis of fisheries stock assessments. Models will include age-structured modeling, area-based models, and surplus production models. A key component is teaching participants how to estimate parameters of interest to management by fitting models to data using sum of squares, likelihood based methods, and Bayesian methods. This objective is met by participants solving real-life problems using computer models in a mixture of lectures and computer labs. The first four days will be Excel-based and aimed at intermediate students. The last three days will be based on programming in the statistical programming language R, providing advanced techniques for spatial modeling and MPAs; simulation and estimation, catch status plots; Bayesian I and Bayesian II.

  • Two artisanal fishers fishing

    Photo credit: Rebecca Weeks/Marine Photobank

    Design, Implementation and Evaluation of Fisheries Catch-Share Management Systems

    Hugo Salgado

    Vice Chancellor of Management and Finance, Univeristy of Talca, Chile

    This course reviews theoretical and practical issues related to designing, implementing and evaluating fisheries catch-share systems. Some of the topics that will be discussed include distributional and efficiency aspects of different catch-share allocation systems, the functioning of quota markets, the use of bioeconomic models, and the design of enforcement policies.

  • Methods for social-ecological systems analysis: small-scale fisheries and climate change

    Erendira Aceves-Bueno, Ph.D

    Visiting Instructor

    Fall Quarter 2017

    The appropriate design of resources management institutions requires a holistic perspective that considers the synergies between ecological and social dynamics. Thus, in recent years, the concept of “social-ecological systems” has gained interest, facilitating decision making with this integrative approach. This course will introduce students to the theory behind social-ecological systems science and the tools most commonly used in their analysis. Through a class project, the students will be able to analyze real case studies and expand their analytical skillset. The final goal of the class is the creation joint peer reviewed publication.