Conservation Biology (Biol/Geog 471)

Great Lakes Campus - Summer Session I

Course Description

Principles of conservation biology with applications to sustainable human society and biospheric integrity. An integrative approach to biology and society that interrelates population biology, ecological principles, biogeochemical cycles, ecosystem functions, and human society in the context of biospheric degradation. The course develops a stewardship perspective rooted in biological principles and directed at conservation of plant and animal species, biotic communities, ecosystems, and human society. Included are topics of human development, poverty, and economic growth. Prerequisite: one year in biology and one course in ecology, or permission of professor. (4 credits) Field, Applied, Interdisciplinary.

Professor: Dr. Vern Peters
Meets: Tuesday & Thursday

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Knowledge Gained

  • Biblical foundation for conservation biology
  • Value and measurement of biodiversity
  • Ecological processes that maintain biodiversity
  • Major threats to biodiversity
  • Incentive mechanisms for conservation
  • Endangered species management
  • Managing biodiversity in anthropogenic landscapes
  • Legal foundations for conservation
  • Ethical frameworks for conservation

Skills Developed

  • Sampling & measuring biodiversity
  • Population modelling & viability analysis
  • Adaptive management
  • Principles of reserve design
  • Assessing genetic health and status
  • Conducting public surveys on conservation value

Field Experiences

  • Great Lakes shoreline ecosystems (IS)
  • Antrim County Natural Area: Threatened plant census
  • Kirtland’s Warbler Management Area
  • Agriculture Conservation with Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Refitt Preserve with Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy
  • Jordan River Valley Fish Hatchery
  • Boardman River Restoration Project
  • Grass River Natural Area
  • Hartwick Pines State Park - Forest Management



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