Discussion sections will be run by the teaching assistant (TA). Primarily, the TA will discuss the journal articles that are assigned to the lecture topics and accessible through links in the syllabus. The TA may also arrange discussion of some articles via Blackboard. In addition, the TA will field questions from students on current lectures, recent quizzes and exams, etc. Those who come with their questions prepared will receive the greatest benefit.
Discussion sections are mandatory; the meeting times and places are listed under Technical Information for the ongoing semester. To keep all discussion sections at a manageable size, you can switch from one section to another only if you find a partner who will swap sections with you. Your attendance and participation in discussion sections will be recorded, and will contribute significantly to your final grade (see Exams and Grading).
A typical discussion section will cover the preceding two lecture topics and their assigned readings. Since Monday, 20 January 2014, is MLK holiday, the discussion sections will be phased in as follows. Topics  through , along with the readings by De Waal (1995) and Bersaglieri et al. (2004), will be discussed in the sections on Friday, 24 January, and Monday, 27 January. Topics  through  with their assigned readings will be discussed on Friday, 31 January, and Monday, 3 February. Be sure to pace yourselves with the assigned readings in January so that they will not create a backlog before the first midterm exam. Topics  and  will be discussed on Friday, 7 February, and Monday, 10 February, and so forth. The last assigned reading, Balmford et al. (2002) on "Economic Reasons for Conserving Wild Nature", will be discussed with the instructor during the review session.
It is critical that you read the assigned articles before they come up in discussion section, for two reasons. First, the assigned readings figure prominently in exams, and they are just too much for cramming. Second, you can get difficult parts of the assigned readings clarified in discussion section, but only if you know what to ask.
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Last modified: 22 October 2013