BIO 2952 - Freshman Seminar: Controversies in Conservation Biology

This reading and writing intensive course covers many controversial ideas in conservation biology. Topics include, but are not limited to:
  • Human population and tragedy of the commons
  • Management/over-management of invasive species
  • Dead zones
  • Conservation medicine
  • Genetically modified organisms
  • Energy and environment platforms of presidential candidates
  • Conservation ethics
  • Environmental law and Endangered Species Act
  • Farmer as conservationist

In addition to weekly journal entries, students of Controversies in Conservation Biology are expected to make a difference through a service learning project of their choice. These projects have included scheduling an invasive species removal day, tracking native turtles, and developing a iPhone application to promote sustainability.

ENST 393 Practical Skills in Environmental Biology

This class teaches students basic field methods, practical skills for organizing and executing research, and how to cope with the rigors of field research. The learning objectives are to:
  • Learn how to ask and address important questions in environmental biology and ecology
  • Learn and apply skills necessary to design and complete a research project
  • Learn and apply data management, analysis, interpretation, and presentation
  • Learn how to critically evaluate primary literature articles
  • Gain experience in grant proposal writing and reviewing
  • Have fun with mud and ticks

Students are expected to write a research grant proposal, which for some, will culminate in the submission of a research proposal to the Biology Department/Howard Hughes Medical Institute Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows program or for Tyson Research Fellowships or internships. Furthermore, students participate in three field trips to help local scientists collect data. Options include assisting with prescribed fires, deer spotlight counts, invasive species removal, and miscellaneous data collection.