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Biology 390

BIOL 390
Conservation Biology

Catalog Entry

BIOL 390
Conservation Biology
Three hours lecture: (3)

Prerequisite: BIOL 231; or BIOL 103 and either BIOL 104 or BIOL 105.

This course examines the importance of biodiversity to the global environment. Students will gain an appreciation of the complexity of biotic communities associated with important ecosystems and will examine man's role in influencing these communities. Current controversies regarding preservation of biodiversity will be explored through readings and discussion.

Detailed Description of Content of Course

The course will focus on topics and issues important in current Conservation Biology.  These may include, but are not limited to the following:

1. What is biodiversity?
    A. Introduction to biodiversity
    B. Species diversity
    C. Ecosystem diversity
    D. Genetic diversity between and within populations
    E. Estimating population size and measuring biodiversity
2.  Extinction
    A. Global change and mass extinctions
    B. Extinction processes
3. Threats
    A.  Global climate change
    B.  Ecosystem degradation and loss
    C.  Overexploitation
    D.  Invasive exotics
4. Solutions
    A. Protection/conservation of threatened ecosystems
    B. Management of public lands
    C. Conservation of private lands (agricultural and urban environments)
    C. Managing captive populations
    D. Political action

Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Biology 390 may combine lecture, inquiry, and discussion. Students will read, analyze and discuss a variety of source materials which may include text book assignments, case studies, and journal articles. Students may write short essays and one or more, larger research papers and may be required to present oral reports on their findings.  Computer simulations may also be used to reinforce concepts covered.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Having successfully completed this course, students will be able to:
1.  Understand and discuss the importance of biodiversity at every level and its importance to the earth and to society.
2.  Understand and discuss the factors which are threating biodiversity loss at each level.
3.   Appropriately apply quantitative tools to measure biodiversity.
4.  Read and discuss information on environmental issues and be able to make intelligent, informed judgments.
5. Participate as informed citizens in societal dialogues which concern the future of the biosphere.


Assessment Measures

Grades may be based upon a combination of written and oral assignments, term papers, exams and class participation.


Other Course Information

None


Review and Approval


01/2011