50.451/50.551 -- CONSERVATION BIOLOGY

Fall 2006

 

Instructor:

Marianna D. Wood

 

 

 

 

104 Hartline

 

 

 

 

office hours-

Tuesday

10:30

12:00

 

 

Wednesday

2:00

4:00

 

 

Thursday

10:30

12:00

 

office phone- 389-4666

 

 

 

e-mail- mwood@bloomu.edu

 

 

 

website- http://facstaff.bloomu.edu/mwood

 

 

 

 

Required Texts:

Primack, RB. 2006. Essentials of conservation biology, 4th ed., Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, Massachusetts, USA.

coursepack of EcoBeaker workbooks, SimBiotic Software, Ithaca, New York, USA.

 

Course Description:

Conservation biology is the science of preserving biodiversity and sustaining the earth.  It is a synthetic discipline which draws upon the fields of ecology, evolution, genetics, economics, sociology, political science, and philosophy.  The goal of conservation biology is the development of strategies for preserving populations, species, biological communities, and entire ecosystems.  The major threat to these biological entities is the growing human population and our impact on the environment.  Conservation biologists attempt to bring scientific principles and theory to bear on problems of management for preserving the richness of life on earth.

 

In this class, we will examine human impact on biodiversity and the earth.  We will also examine the contributions of theoretical biology to conservation biology.  Furthermore, we will use case studies to survey the possibilities and the problems of applying conservation principles in the real world.

 

This course is a combined graduate and upper-level undergraduate course. Students enrolled in this course should have a solid background in basic biology, ecology, and mathematics.


Course Evaluation (Graduate):

Your course grade will be based on the following components—

 

 

weekly preparation

130

 

weekly participation

130

 

annotated bibliography

 

 

 

topic and three citations

10

 

 

complete bibliography

70

 

mid-term exam

100

 

final exam

150

 

conservation organization report

10

 

-----------------------------------------------------

 

total

600

 

Your points earned will be converted to a letter grade using the following scale—

558-600

A

462-479

C+

540-557

A-

438-461

C

522-539

B+

420-437

C-

498-521

B

402-419

D+

480-497

B-

360-401

D

 

 

<360

E

 

 

Weekly Preparation and Participation

Conservation Biology is a seminar course. Regular attendance and participation by all students are necessary for the class to be successful. To allow meaningful participation, you must come to class prepared to discuss the evening's topics in depth. In addition to reading the textbook, class preparation includes running computer simulations and directed reading from a variety of sources. Preparation and participation will be graded through a combination of self-assessment, teammate input, and instructor assessment.

 

Annotated Bibliography

You will prepare an annotated bibliography on a selected topic in conservation biology. You should read at least 220 pages on the topic and write a one-paragraph summary of each paper you read. The majority of your sources should be from the primary literature. The topic and three summaries are due on 27 September, and the complete bibliography is due on 15 November.

 

Mid-term and Final Exams

There will be two in-class exams, a mid-term and a final. The final exam will conform to University policy and be comprehensive. Both exams will consist of a selection of short to moderate-length essays.

 

Conservation Organization Report

You will select a governmental agency or NGO that deals primarily with conservation and investigate its specific mission, budget and staffing, methods, and significant outcomes. You will give a 10-15 minute presentation on the organization for the class.


Course Evaluation (Undergraduate):

Your course grade will be based on the following components—

 

 

weekly preparation

130

 

weekly participation

130

 

annotated bibliography

 

 

 

topic and three citations

10

 

 

complete bibliography

70

 

mid-term exam

100

 

final exam

150

 

-----------------------------------------------------

 

total

590

 

Your points earned will be converted to a letter grade using the following scale—

549-590

A

454-471

C+

531-548

A-

431-453

C

513-530

B+

413-430

C-

490-512

B

395-412

D+

472-489

B-

354-394

D

 

 

<354

E

 

 

Weekly Preparation and Participation

Conservation Biology is a seminar course. Regular attendance and participation by all students are necessary for the class to be successful. To allow meaningful participation, you must come to class prepared to discuss the evening's topics in depth. In addition to reading the textbook, class preparation includes running computer simulations and directed reading from a variety of sources. Preparation and participation will be graded through a combination of self-assessment, teammate input, and instructor assessment.

 

Annotated Bibliography

You will prepare an annotated bibliography on a selected topic in conservation biology.  You should read at least 160 pages on the topic and write a one-paragraph summary of each paper you read.   At least half of your sources should be from the primary literature. The topic and three summaries are due on 27 September, and the complete bibliography is due on 15 November.

 

Mid-term and Final Exams

There will be two in-class exams, a mid-term and a final. The final exam will conform to University policy and be comprehensive. Both exams will consist of a selection of short to moderate-length essays.


SCHEDULE AND TEXTBOOK READING ASSIGNMENTS

           

30 August

conservation biology and biodiversity

chapters 1 and 2

 

 

 

6 September

distribution of biodiversity, ethical valuation

chapters 3 and 6

 

 

 

13 September

economic valuation

chapters 4 and 5

 

 

 

20 September

extinction

chapters 7 and 8

 

 

 

27 September

habitat loss, global climate change

chapter 9 

 

 

 

4 October

overexploitation, invasive species

chapter 10

 

 

 

11 October

MIDTERM EXAM

 

 

 

 

18 October

applied population biology

chapters 11 and 12 

 

 

 

25 October

new populations, ex situ conservation

chapters 13 and 14

 

 

 

1 November

protected areas, conservation networks

chapters 15, 16 

 

 

 

8 November

managing protected areas

chapters 17, 18

 

 

 

15 November

restoration

chapters 18, 19 

 

 

 

29 November

sustainable development

chapters 20 and 21

 

 

 

6 December

agenda for the future

chapter 22

 

 

 

13 December

FINAL EXAM

 

 

 

Communication:

As stated in PRP 3408 Student Use of University Assigned Email Accounts, you are responsible for all messages and attachments sent to your bloomu.edu e-mail account and items posted on Blackboard. You should regularly check your e-mail and Blackboard, http://blackboard.bloomu.edu

 

EcoBeaker:

The EcoBeaker software is installed on the Specialized Software PCs in the library and the KUB Games Room (232). The  library is a better location to do the exercises because the computers are in carousels with room for the workbook, notes, etc. In the library, the specialized computers are on the third floor on the far end away from the stairs and elevator and overlooking the parking lot and Student Rec Center. In the Games Room, the specialized computers are located in the middle of the lab and have a “Specialized Software PC” sticker. You will need your university user id and password to log on to the computer. You can start EcoBeaker from the Start menu under Specialized Software.