This course focuses on the scientific study of biological diversity, its rapid loss in recent decades, and approaches for its conservation. Broad topics include the definition and measurement of biodiversity, the value of biodiversity to humans, causes of biodiversity loss and extinction in the modern world, how biodiversity can be managed and conserved, as well as the challenges posed by the human dimensions of biodiversity and conservation. Students will focus intensively on the primary literature in this course, with an emphasis on the interpretation of data and the design of investigations in conservation biology. After completing this course, students should be able to apply the scientific method, data analysis, biological theory, and critical thought to real-world conflicts between human needs and the conservation of biological diversity. The laboratory focuses on biodiversity and conservation assessment including field work and occasional field trips.
Satisfies Natural Science distribution requirement. Satisfies a depth and breadth course requirement in the Natural Science track of the Enviromental Studies major or minor.
Successful completion of BIO112/114, ENV 201, or permission of the instructor is required. Satisfies Group B.