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 will focus on biodiversity and conservation assessment and will include field work and occasional field trips.
Satisfies a major requirement in Biology and Environmental Studies
Satisfies a concentration requirement in Environmental Studies
Students entering 2012 and after: satisfies Natural Science distribution requirement
Students entering before 2012: satisfies Science with lab distribution requirement