First Advisor

Dr. Michael Ghedotti

Thesis Committee Member(s)

Dr. J. Thomas Howe, Dr. Lara Narcisi


Dr. Abigail Gosselin


Regis College

Degree Name



For Regis College Honors Program students

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

67 pages


Environmental ethics originates from the idea that the relationship between humans and non-human nature should be considered morally. How we deal with environmental issues depends on our perception of human-environment relationships. Many view nature as something separate from themselves to own, use, and exploit for human benefit; others view nature as something of which humans are a part and having an intrinsic value aside from practicality or usefulness. This thesis examines human-environment relationships through anthropocentrism and ecocentrism and advocates for balancing the two perspectives. Furthermore, this thesis examines the importance of marine environmental conservation, particularly sharks, and how transitioning towards human-environment balanced policy & management in this field can help us to ameliorate the Tragedy of the Commons and increase support for shark conservation. In doing so, this thesis looks at common property resource systems, the High Seas, and shark conservation, including our interactions with shark fisheries, finning, and marine ecotourism to convince the average person that humans are not separate from nature, and nature does not exist solely to benefit us. Additionally, we are interconnected with the natural world; we depend on each other much as science, ethics, and economics do, and it is important to recognize this when we interact with nature. A balance between ecocentrism and anthropocentrism is required to understand the inherent value of nature, helping us to achieve more sustainable practices in fishing and ecotourism, to mitigate the Tragedy of the Commons, and to abolish the human-nature dichotomy through the appreciation of a land-and-sea ethic.

Date of Award

Spring 2021

Location (Creation)

Colorado (state); Denver (county); Denver (inhabited place)

Rights Statement

All content in this Collection is owned by and subject to the exclusive control of Regis University and the authors of the materials. It is available only for research purposes and may not be used in violation of copyright laws or for unlawful purposes. The materials may not be downloaded in whole or in part without permission of the copyright holder or as otherwise authorized in the “fair use” standards of the U.S. copyright laws and regulations.