WILD/FISH/ECOL 8680 Animal biodiversity and conservation

Animal Biodiversity and Conservation (3 units) is taught Fall Semester of odd numbered years.
Abbreviated syllabus Fall 2015 (the course is taught in a single three hour session once weekly)

Course Overview: The course format includes lectures presented by the instructor and guest lecturers, discussion of current and classic papers in conservation biology and two projects. Attendance is mandatory. The class will review and synthesize topics/issues in conservation biology with the goal of introducing students to the practice and current status of the field. Specific topics to be covered are: regulation of biodiversity (assemblage organization, metacommunity dynamics), population regulation, persistence & metapopulations, reserve function and design, and fragmentation. There will be two projects in the class, the first involves making a karaoke video on a conceptual topic or successful conservation plan relevant to biodiversity/conservation biology. The video must be something different from your thesis topic. A detailed rubric will be posted on eLC prior to the beginning of class. The second is an active learning exercise based on observation of 20-30 minutes of video on animals behaving naturally in the environment, deducing and recording what you see, and then developing a conservation plan based on the biology/behavior of the organisms. Once again, a detailed rubric will be posted on eLC prior to the beginning of class. Grading is described below and this outline and lecture schedule may vary based on student numbers and schedules. Finally, you will have a chance to participate in a research project designed to develop innovative methods for university teaching. Students often complain about how lecture classes are taught and this is your chance to help improve university teaching. Participation is completely voluntary, will require little extra time and no extra work.

By signing up for this course students agree to abide by all aspects of the University of Georgia Student Honor Code, which can be found at http://www.uga.edu/ovpi/honesty/culture_honesty.htm

Grades: Grades will be based on a total of 350 points that will be awarded in the following manner:1) Class participation including attendance (50 points, you can miss one class without penalty, more will incur a point penalty), 2) Karaoke video (100 points), 3) Conservation plan (200 points)

Prerequisites: undergraduate course in ecology,

Class Topics

End of the Line video
Introduction
Biodiversity, environmental variation & resource use
Functional Aspects of Biodiversity and Keystone Species
Invasive species
Net loss & Cane Toad videos
Karaoke work day (place as of yet undetermined)
Population Regulation, Viability Analysis & Conservation Biology Karaoke videos due, short questionnaire)
Habitat selection & conservation biology
Landscapes & Conservation (Joel, SLOSS, fragmentation, corridors, Karaoke video viewing)
Herpetological Conservation (Dr. Joeseph Mendelson, Atlanta Zoo)
Modeling species distributions during environmental change (Dr Nibbelink)
Conservation plan work day (Wenjing, topic open, how about some conservation plans?)
Disease and Conservation (Dr. Sonia Hernandez)
Conservation plan work day
Conservation plans due, discussion of exercise, short questionnaire