This Capstone course for Biology majors explores the scientific foundations and practice of conservation biology. We review ecological concepts and facts constituting scientific basis for biological conservation: patterns of biodiversity, causes of population declines, problems for small populations. Lecture and discussion coverage includes a survey of historical and current trends relating to species endangerment and extinction. We explore the interdisciplinary nature of conservation in practice, using case study approach.
The course includes team-based projects. Students investigate problems in conservation biology that relate to the broader Villanova community, and then they communicate to the public about the topic and why they should care.
The course does not have explicit prerequisites beyond General Biology 1 & 2. As with all BIO capstone courses, we assume that must students enrolling will have completed as Biology majors a range of advanced courses in Biology; the hope is that students of varied background and interests will contribute win diverse ways to our coverage of the interdisciplinary substance of conservation biology. The course is available for other students with appropriate background as space permits.