CVSC 331 - Conservation Biology
Syllabus - Fall 2013

Updated 12/1/2013
 

Lecture: BSC 437, MWF 11:00-11:50 a.m.

Laboratory: BSC 437, Thursday 12:30-3:20 p.m.

Instructor: Jim Dooley                                       T.A.: 

Office: 428 Boyd Science Center                     Office: 

 E-Mail: jdooley@muskingum.edu                    E-Mail:

Phone: 740-826-8227                                            Phone: 


Course Description:

Conservation Biology will provide an introduction to the role of science in the conservation of animals and plants.  Course lectures, text readings, case studies, and readings from the primary literature will provide a rigorous introduction to the motivation for, methods of, and major challenges facing contemporary conservation biology.    In addition, lectures and laboratories will seek to enhance each student’s understanding of the scientific process and thus the potential and limitations of science as a tool in addressing contemporary social problems.

The content of course lectures will focus on an introduction to the scientific study and analysis of biodiversity; a survey of the major threats to biodiversity; an overview of contemporary conservation strategies and an analysis of recent and historic success and failures in conservation efforts.

Supporting these overarching topics will be a review of current work in the ecological and evolutionary sciences germane to conservation efforts and an emphasis on the complex challenges faced by conservation biologists in developing practical strategies that adequately address the difficult social, economic, political and ethical dimensions attendant to contemporary conservation problems.  Laboratories and field trips will focus on analysis of appropriate literature (particularly case studies), field exercises designed to introduce standard field methods, and computer-based approaches to biotic inventories, habitat analysis, and predictive modeling. The course requirements will include three exams and a semester-long writing project (either a review of information on some particular problem, or a proposal designed to address a specific conservation problem).


Course Learning Objectives:  

Conservation Biology is an applied field of biology.  It is distinct from "basic" science or pure discovery areas of biology in that the aim is to address specific problems - in this case the precipitous global decline in biodiversity. Nonetheless the course is designed to meet a number of learning goals within both biology and the conservation science program.   In particular, this course addresess Biology Department Learning Goals 3 & 4  as  well as Conservation Science Program Learning Goals 1-4.  More specifically as a result of taking this course, students should demonstrate:

1.   An  understanding of how the term biodiversity is used and described from a scientific perspective. 

2.    An understanding of how patterns of biodiversity have changed through time

3.    An understanding of the important current threats to biodiversity as well as how these threats relate back to human needs

4.    An understanding of how interdisciplinary work (particularly involving the domains of policy, economics, cultural orientation and ethics) is essential to addressing problems in this area

5.  An understanding of how conservation management can serve as a crtical tool in addressing conservation problems.   

6. An understanding of areas of focus in current investigative activity within the field as well as an understanding of how science's orientation to "problem solving" plays a critical role these applied areass

 

Course Design, Requirements, Exams and Grading:

The course will consist of two parts: lecture and laboratory. Grades from the two parts will be combined in the final grade. Your course grade will be based on the following:

1) For the lecture part of the course:


2)  The laboratory grade will be based on exercises and short assignments & evaluation of your modeling exercises portfolio (70%) and a laboratory final (30%).   Short assignments will include items such as journal paper reviews and grades on modeling work turned in during the course of the term.

3) Active engagement & participation in lecture and laboratory sessions

A word of warning: there is a great deal of reading associated with this class.   You should anticipate that you’ll need to spend time reading almost every day in order to keep up.   Indeed, regard the reading as the primary mode of instruction – lectures are designed to emphasize key points, provide context, and some additional information.   You should understand that we can’t cover everything from the reading in class.  Therefore, expect that tests will have questions drawn directly from text reading, journal papers and other materials I’ve assigned - even if we haven’t directly discussed the material in class. 

The final course grad will be based: 70% on the lecture grade, 25% on the laboratory grade and 5% on active participation.
  
Attendance:

·      I’m not going to impose a grade penalty if you miss classes. You’re adults now and this should be a class in your general area of interest. Besides, in my experience, the chickens almost always come home to roost for folks that miss more than a few classes.  You are, of course, responsible for all material covered by lectures, exercises, simulations and videos.

·       By contrast, YOU ARE REQUIRED to attend laboratory.   Due to the nature of the experiences, there can be no make-up.  If attending laboratory is going prove difficult (even owing to college sanctioned reasons), don’t take the course.   You should come to laboratory on field trip days prepared to be outside for several hours - dress appropriately!

 Textbook: Principles of Conservation Biology by Groom, Meffe, Carroll & Contributors (3rd edition, Sinauer Associates - ISBN = 0-87893-518-5) - Note: this new edition is very different from the previous edition - please don’t assume they are similiar and buy a used 2nd edition. 

Laboratory Manual: Available from BBB & online purchase
 


Lecture Schedule

Wk

Dates

Activity, Topic(s) & Required Reading

1

8/26


8/28

8/30

Introduction to class, overview of content, activities & expectations; BlackBoard
Student Driver for field trips

What is Conservation Biology? - Chapter 1 (3-26)

What is Conservation Biology? - Chapter 1 (3-26)

What is Conservation Biology? - Chapter 1 (3-26)


9/02


9/04


9/06

Global Biodiversity: Patterns and Processes - Chapter 2 (27-62)

Global Biodiversity: Patterns and Processes - Chapter 2 (27-62)

Global Biodiversity: Patterns and Processes - Chapter 2 (27-62)

3

9/09

9/11

9/13

Global Biodiversity: Patterns and Processes - Chapter 2 (27-62)

Global Biodiversity: Patterns and Processes - Chapter 2 (27-62)


Global Biodiversity: Patterns and Processes - Chapter 2 (27-62
Overview of Modeling on Conservation Biology


4

9/16

9/18

9/20

Global Biodiversity: Patterns and Processes - Chapter 2 (27-62)

Global Biodiversity: Patterns and Processes - Chapter 2 (27-62)

Threats to Biodiversity - Chapter 3 (63-112

5

9/23

9/25

9/27

Threats to Biodiversity - Chapter 3 (63-112)

Threats to Biodiversity - Chapter 3 (63-112)

Threats to Biodiversity - Chapter 3 (63-112)  

6

9/30

10/02

10/04

Exam Writing

Habitat Degredation and Loss  - Chapter 6 (173-212) - Group Outlining Activity

Habitat Degredation and Loss  - Chapter 6 (173-212) - -Group Outlining Activity




7

10/07

10/09

10/11

Fall Break

Habitat Fragmentation  - Chapter 7 (213-252)

Habitat Fragmentation  - Chapter 7 (213-252)


8

10/14

10/16

10/18

Habitat Fragmentation  - Chapter 7 (213-252)


Habitat Fragmentation  - Chapter 7 (213-252)

Habitat Fragmentation  - Chapter 7 (213-252)

9

10/21

10/23

10/25

Biological Impacts of Climate Change - Chapter 10 (333-363)

Biological Impacts of Climate Change - Chapter 10 (333-363)

Biological Impacts of Climate Change - Chapter 10 (333-363)

10

10/28

10/30

11/01

Biological Impacts of Climate Change - Chapter 10 (333-363)

Species and Landscape Approaches to Conservation - Chapter 12 (419-446)

Species and Landscape Approaches to Conservation - Chapter 12 (419-446)

11

11/04

11/06

11/08

Restoration of Damaged Ecosystems & Endangered Populations: - Chapter  15  (553-590; not Case studies 15.2, 15.3 & 15.5)

Restoration of Damaged Ecosystems & Endangered Populations: - Chapter  15  (553-590; not Case studies 15.2, 15.3 & 15.5)

Restoration of Damaged Ecosystems & Endangered Populations: - Chapter  15  (553-590; not Case studies 15.2, 15.3 & 15.5)

12

11/11

11/13

11/15

TBA

Review for Exam


TBA - exam writing?

13

11/18

11/20

11/22

Conservation as a Value-Laden Endeavor  - Chapter 4 (111-136)
 
Conservation as a Value-Laden Endeavor  - Chapter 4 (111-136)

Video: Environmental Ethics

14

11/25


11/27

11/29

Finish Video
Case Study: The Delmarva Fox Squirrel


Thanksgiving Break

Thanksgiving Break
15
 11/02

 11/04

11/06
 Reading and Discussion: Voosen 2013 - Who Is Conservaiton For? (6298")

 Reading and Discussion
: Conservation Medicine: Blaustein and Johnson 2003 (4627") & Lafferty   &   Gerber 2002 (4557")

Final thoughts & Course Reviews

 

12/13

Final Exam -  8:30 am

 

 

Next Year:

Ecosystem Approaches to Conservation: Responses to a Complex World  - Chapter 13 (467-508)
The Integration of Conservation Science and Policy: The Pursuit of Knowledge Meets the Use of Knowledge - Chapter 17 (625-660)


 


  

Laboratory Schedule

WK

Dates

Activity, Topic(s) & Required Reading

1

8/29

Logistics: Fill out Travel Wavier Forms & Student Driver
Loading Laptops with RAMAs software
Distribution of Laboratory Notebooks:
Available through BBB?
Demonstration
: Butterfly Identification

Literature Discussion: Prato 2005
Video: “Can the Elephants be Saved?-S”
 

2

9/05

Field Trip to the Wilds - Biodiversity of Butterflies

3

9/12

Lecture: Demographic Modeling - Why Models are Your Friend
Demonstration: An Introduction to RAMAS - Laboratory 2 -
From Bacteria to Blue Whales: Growth Without Limits

Data Analysis: Buterfly data
Literature Discussion: Dolphin and Quicke 2001 (Journal post due 7 pm on 9/11)

Video: “The Keepers of Eden - S

4

9/19

TBA - Field Trip to Wilds Restoration ecology

5

9/26

Exam I

6

10/03

Exam Writing & Individual Conferences on Exam I
Video: Audubon Series- Arctic National Refuge
Exercise: Island Biogeography Laboratory (see handout &
National Park Service Park Area and Biodiversity  )

7

10/10

Literature Discussion: Greenwald et al. 2009 - 5080"
Literature Discussion
: Mace et al. 2001

Video: "The Grizzlies"
Exercise: Laboratory 5 -  Grizzly Bears: The Problems of Small Populations

8

10/17

Demonstration: The Effects of Habitat Fragmentation - Model by E.O. Wilson
Literature Discussion: Flashpohler et al. 2001.
Field Trip to the Hollow: Analysis of Forest Edge Effects or
Video: "The Sixth Extinction: The Human Role"
Exercise: Laboratory 12: Resucing the Spotted Owl: Conserving Species in Multiple Populations

9

10/24

DVD: An Inconvenient Truth
Exercise: Exploring the IPCC Website
Exercise: Laboratory 13 - Biodiversity's Biggest Threat: Human Population Growth

10

10/31

Exercise: Source/Sink demonstration/exercise from from Donovan & Welden (2002-4378”)
Exercise: Developing Oxbo Estates
Exercise: Laboratory 9: The African White Rhino: Too Many for their Own Good? (part I)
DVD National Geographic  DVD - The One Degree Factor

11

11/07

TBA - Field Trip to Wilds Conservation Medicine

12

11/14

Exam II

13

11/21

Literature Discussion: Davradou & Namkoong 2001
Skill Development: using Science Citation Index in the Search for Information.
DVD: Sustainable Communities
Discussion: Laboratory Final Exam (Take home)

14

11/28

Thanksgiving Day!

15

12/05


Laboratory FinalDue in as e-mail attachment by 3:20 pm





Additional Material to consider

Case Study Literature Discussion: (Blum 1997-3813”)
Case Study Discussion - Frankilin: Chapter 7 - “Great Lakes - St. Lawrence River Basin Assessments” [4565”]
Case Study Literature Discussion (Wikramanayake et al. 1998 - 3252”)
Rapid Assessment and/or Reserve Design -

Reading & Discussion: Soule & Orians - Chapter 2

Literature Discussion: Dolphin and Quicke 2001 - 4298”
Literature Discussion
: Kaiser 2000 [3801”]
Literature Discussion: Flashpohler et al. 2001 (continued)
Literature Discussion:  Simberloff 2003 [4665”]
Literature Discussion: Greenwald et al. 2009 [5080"]

Exercise: Source/Sink demonstration/exercise from from Donovan & Welden (2002-4378”)
Demonstration: The Effects of Habitat Fragmentation - Model by E.O. Wilson

Laboratory 5 - Grizzly Bears: The Problems of Small Populations. 
Laboratory 9
: The African White Rhino: Too Many for their Own Good?
Laboratory 10: The Wild Ass and the Black Footed Ferret: Reintroduction of Endangered Species
Laboratory 13: Introduction to Ramas & Biodiversity’s Biggest Threat: Human Population Growth
Laboratory 12
: Rescuing the Spotted Owl: Conserving Species in Multiple Population

Laboratory 14 - The Case of Patrick’s Marsh Wren: Making Decisions to Protect Species

Video: “Hawaii: Stangers in Paradise - National Geographic Society”

Video: “Can the Elephants be Saved?-S”

Video: Understanding the Basic Concepts of Genetics [4317”]

Video: “The Grizzlies” National Geographic Society

Video on the role of Zoos and Preserves: “The Keepers of Eden - S
Video: Arctic National Refuge

DVD: An Inconvenient Truth

Species Invasions - Chapter 9 (293-314)

Species Invasions - Chapter 9 (293-314)

Species Invasions - Chapter 9 (293-314)






Disabilities Statement:

Any student who wishes to request an accommodation  is responsible to contact the Disability Education Office (DEO) to discuss his/her specific needs and the process to receive reasonable accommodation.  Please contact the DEO, located in The PLUS Center in Walter Hall #26 or call 740-826-6132 to arrange an appointment as soon as possible.  At the appointment, the procedure to coordinate accommodations will be discussed.  You can also find information about the process for accommodation on the web at http://www.muskingum.edu/deo
 
 

Useful Information & Resource Links:

 

BIODIVERSITY and CONSERVATION: A Conservation Hypertext by P.J. Bryant


Conservation Biology by Groom et al.