BIOL 211 Conservation and the Environment

This course is an introductory conservation biology course. As such, one of the primary goals of the course is to introduce students to the principles and general concepts of conservation biology. Students enrolled in this course will investigate current theories regarding the ongoing extinction of species. The primary focus of the course will be recent vertebrate extinctions. However, we will also explore some case studies of recent plant and invertebrate extinctions. Students will become intimately acquainted with several species that we have lost (some within the lifetimes of the students) and several additional species that are currently on the verge of extinction. We will also be exploring ecological, educational, philosophical, economic, and cultural values that affect human perceptions of conservation and extinction. This course will be intensive in terms of reading, writing, and self-expression. Students will be expected to verbalize their thoughts and observations on assigned readings in classroom discussions. Students will also help each other formulate and bring into focus, what will be their unique philosophical viewpoints on conservation and extinction. Student presentations will center on the basic conservation biology concepts introduced in the course. The formal concepts introduced in this class will be presented by your professors and will be supplemented by group discussions, lab/class activities, and field trips.