FALL 2010 BISC 120
Biodiversity and Conservation Biology Project
(November 30 – December 3)
It is clear that among the major global problems we face today are global warming, the
rapid depletion of our natural resources, the deterioration of biodiversity, and exploitation of our
biological resources. The world is losing species and habitats at an extremely rapid rate, now
more than ever in the human history.
Some environmentalists and ecologists estimate 130 species
are lost every day.
Along with the loss of species, habitats are being altered, fragmented, and lost
agriculture use and human habitation as well as for natural resource extraction.
Along with the
direct effects of habitat alteration, such things as agricultural runoff, siltation, and pollution from
different land use patterns severely impact habitats.
The maintenance of our quality of life or, even the achievement of a decent standard of
living, as in underdeveloped nations, depends on our ability to make the correct decisions on the
long-term sustainability of resource use. These decisions must be made within a holistic
framework, where considerations of the physical and biological properties of systems are
evaluated within the social and economic context of a community.
is the branch of ecology and evolutionary biology that deals with the
preservation and management of biodiversity
(all species on this planet and their interactions with
It is a discipline that is emerging rapidly as a result of the accelerating deterioration
of natural systems and the worldwide epidemic of species extinctions. Its goal is to find ways to
conserve species, habitats, landscapes and ecosystems as quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively.
This project is designed for you to learn about global warming (the consequence of
deforestation and fossil fuel usage) and its effect on all species on Earth and to encourage an
interdisciplinary approach to conservation and sustainable development that might slow down
global warming and loss of species and habitats.
We would like to promote an understanding of
conservation ecology and provide a forum for awareness and involvement in local and, to some
degree, global conservation issues. These presentations will also allow you to share your
knowledge and experiences with your fellow students.
CHOOSING A TOPIC
Find a partner in your lab section and discuss with her/him what you are interested in so
you can do some research on topics you both like. After you choose your topic you need to have it
approved by your TA. Sample topics include but are not limited to: conservation of a threatened
or endangered species (focus on just one species, e.g. polar bears, emperor penguins, frogs,
pandas); the pet trade and its impact on natural populations;