Marine Protected Area Management

CMM22C Elective Course 4 ECTS
Period -
Instructor Dr. Bradley W. Barr


This class will address the issues, challenges and opportunities related to the management of coastal and marine resources through a focus on the design, implementation and evaluation of marine protected areas. Marine protected areas involve a broad spectrum of management goals, from facilitating multiple uses, including both consumptive and non-consumptive uses, to fully protected marine reserves. They can be managed centrally under the authority of a governmental agency, but are more often managed onsite in collaboration with local communities. Marine protected areas, and both individually and as parts of regional, national, continental and global networks, offer many excellent opportunities, as discrete, definable areas, to identify, understand and address broader management methods and approaches, from setting management goals to evaluation of management effectiveness, how the public can be effectively engaged in management of these areas, and what level of scientific understanding is needed to support management decision making. Worldwide, marine protected areas are being seen as both necessary and appropriate in addressing anthropogenic impacts resulting from human use and overuse, of the marine ecosystems, including commercial and recreational fishing, marine transportation, off-shore development related to oil and gas resources, mineral extraction and renewable energy, land-based sources of pollution, and global climate change. Students will be given the opportunity to learn about how marine protected areas managers are confronting these challenges, and develop a practical understanding of the tools managers use, and acquire some understanding of what challenges have yet to be effectively met.


At the end of the course, students will:

  • have gained a systematic understanding of the complex and dynamic nature of management of marine protected areas, learning to "think like a manager", and apply "lessons learned" from the design and management of marine protected areas in the larger context of marine and coastal conservation
  • be able to accurately define a problem, think about it in a critical manner, assess information at hand and draw inferences about how best to approach its resolution;
  • be knowledgeable of the various relevant human activities that can adversely affect the structure and function of coastal and marine ecosystems, and management strategies to effectively address these threats;
  • have gained skills in participating in and facilitating group discussions and deliberations, as well as crafting and delivering effective presentations targeted to key stakeholder audiences.




Bradley W. Barr (USA) earned his BSc from the University of Maine and his MSc in Biology from the University of Massachusetts, and and a Ph.D. from the University of Alaska. He is a Senior Policy Advisor for NOAA/Office of National Marine Sanctuaries in Woods Hole, Massachusetts where he focuses on interagency coordination, maritime heritage in Alaska, ocean wilderness, seabed mapping, enhancing university partnerships, and international collaboration. He sits on the board of directors for several associations: Coastal Zone Canada Association, Science and Management of Protected Areas Association, and George Wright Society.