May 17, 2022  
2020-2021 Course Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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ENV 145 - Conservation Biology

Credits: 4
Lecture Hours: 3
Lab Hours: 2
Practicum Hours: 0
Work Experience: 0
Course Type: Core
This course presents a broad overview of the patterns and processes influencing biodiversity on multiple scales, as well as practical approaches to resource management. We will examine issues causing loss of biodiversity, reserve design and management, ecological and population monitoring techniques and conservation approaches on varying levels.
Prerequisite: ENV 115 , ENV 116  
Competencies
  1. Explain what is meant by the terms conservation biology and biodiversity
    1. Differentiate between species, ecosystem, and genetic biodiversity
    2. Outline various methodologies used to measure biodiversity
  2. Assess biodiversity of key ecosystems
    1. Examine global patterns of biodiversity
    2. Discuss the field of taxonomy within a historical and a modern framework
    3. Identify key elements of biodiversity in Iowa
  3. Assess biodiversity of key ecosystems
    1. Explain how economic values are assigned to biological diversity
    2. Examine non-consumptive use and other indirect economic values of biodiversity
    3. Identify ethical values of biological diversity
  4. Compare historic and modern extinction events and extinction rates
    1. Explain previous mass extinction events and their contributing factors
    2. Analyze the current mass extinction event and the contributing factors
    3. Compare historic, modern and background extinction rates
  5. Explain the factors that make a species vulnerable to extinction
  6. Assess how changes in habitat and climate affect biodiversity and extinction rates
    1. Explain how human population growth affects global biodiversity
    2. Examine the ways in which habitat destruction and fragmentation affect wild populations
    3. Examine the current and predicted effects of global climate change on the Earth?s biological diversity
  7. Summarize the effects of overexploitation, invasive species, and disease on native wild populations
    1. Develop a model of maximum sustainable yield for a local population
    2. Investigate the characteristics that allow a species to become invasive
  8. Explain conservation problems specific to small populations
    1. Identify the components of a minimum viable population analysis
    2. Discuss the consequences of reduced genetic variability in small populations
    3. Explain the concepts of habitat sources and habitat sinks
  9. Explain common practices in the field of applied conservation biology
    1. Describe methodologies used to study wild populations
    2. Develop a population viability analysis for a local population
    3. Describe methodology used for long-term ecosystem and population monitoring
  10. Summarize the principles of threatened and endangered species management
    1. Explain the processes used to evaluate populations and to determine the level of threat to the population
    2. Discuss how predictive modeling is used as a tool in conservation
    3. Develop a management strategy for threatened species
  11. Summarize the methodologies utilized in establishing protected areas
    1. Identify proprieties for protecting biodiversity
    2. Describe elements of reserve design
    3. Compare strategies utilized in reserve management
  12. Explain issues relating to conservation outside of protected areas
    1. Examine conservation in urban areas
    2. Examine conservation in agricultural areas
    3. Discuss ecological restoration techniques
  13. Explain how conservation and human societies interact at local, national, and international levels
    1. Explain legislation related to the conservation of biodiversity
    2. Discuss funding opportunities related to conservation biology
    3. Discuss the future of conservation biology
  14. Perform modeling, measurement, and analysis tasks relevant to conservation biology
    1. Plan the design of an ecological monitoring program
    2. Conduct a field study based on ecological monitoring and data measurement protocol
    3. Analyze site biodiversity using a species-area curve
    4. Develop a site-specific habitat management plan based on monitoring and research findings
    5. Apply an existing mathematical model to a problem in conservation biology



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