- Science and Technology, College of
The Earth harbors an incredible diversity of species and communities, most still poorly understood by science. This biodiversity is essential to the functioning of natural ecosystems and provides a wide array of priceless services to people today and a treasure of benefits for the future. Yet human threats to biodiversity have led us to the brink of the sixth major extinction event in Earth’s history. Which populations, species, communities, and ecoregions are most diverse? Which are most threatened, and by which human activities? What is the contribution of biodiversity to human livelihoods? What does the science suggest is needed to conserve biodiversity? How might this best be done given social, economic, and political realities? These questions and more will be examined in this course, focusing on the key principles of conservation biology and the application of those principles to local, national, and international examples.