Fall 2005

SCIE 638
Conservation Biology


09/22/2005 - 12/17/2005
Thursday 06:30 PM - 09:00 PM

Science Tower 137

This course focuses on the biological, ecological, and administrative aspects of the conservation of species and communities, integrating concepts from ecology, evolution, population biology, genetics, biogeography, and systematics. The course material is derived from an examination of a variety of ecosystems and natural communities, such as neotropical migratory birds, vernal pools, prairies, declining amphibian species, island biotas, desert spring fishes, tropical wet forests, caves, coral reefs, anadromous fishes, riverine mollusks, old growth forests, the Great Lakes ecosystem, and others.

Specific topics addressed include the nature of conservation data; patterns of extinction and species endangerment; current conservation status of taxonomic entities and communities; how genetic data affect conservation priorities and the legal status of taxa; life history attributes of species of conservation interest, and patterns and processes in particular ecosystems (including intrinsic characteristics that make certain species and systems vulnerable to ecosystem alteration); direct and indirect impacts of introduced organisms; conservation relevance of paleohistory; theoretical and empirical consequences of habitat fragmentation; applications of metapopulation and island biogeographic theory; international, federal, and state regulations and species recovery efforts; gap analysis; ecoregional conservation planning; and ecosystem restoration.

Students will use a textbook, to be announced, and journal articles selected for the course.

Requirements include a take-home examination, participation in discussions, and two papers on specific aspects of conservation biology.

There are no prerequisites for the course.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The first class will be held on Thursday, September 22 (one week after all other GLSP courses have begun).

Geoffrey Hammerson (B.S. University of California, Berkeley; Ph.D. University of Colorado, Boulder) is a research zoologist at NatureServe and is author of more than 70 reports and publications, most recently, The conservation status of the world's reptiles (Biological Conservation, 2013, with M. Bohm et al.) and Rapid assessment of plant and animal vulnerability to climate change (in Wildlife Conservation in a Changing Climate (University of Chicago Press, 2012, with Young et al.) Click here to read an article about Geoff and his GLS courses.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
Groom, Meffe & Carroll, PRINCIPLES OF CONSERVATION BIOLOGY (Sinauer Associates), Hardcover


Register for Courses

Contact glsinquire@wesleyan.edu to submit comments or suggestions. 
Copyright Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459