Contact Info:

ph: 843.953.8077
Office: SCIC 216C
Office Hours: by appt.


Biodiversity, Ecology and Conservation Biology
Biology 211 + 211 D

Course overview: The goals of this course are to examine the whole organism, how organisms interact with the environment, develop an understanding of evolutionary and conservation biology principles, build a framework for understanding diversity on Earth, develop critical thinking and writing skills, develop your toolbox of scientific methods (including hypothesis generation, data organization and data analyses), as well as become familiar with primary literature in biology.

The semester we will examine concepts including:
    1) the ecology and evolutionary biology of populations,
    2) the interactions between species,
    3) large scale patterns in biology
    4) biodiversity on planet Earth and how groups of organisms are related,
    5) how 1-4 relate to and apply to conservation biology and current issues.

Although these topics are defined areas of biological research, as the semester progresses the links among them will become evident. The topics in this class are quite quantitative. We discuss mathematical models and statistical approaches.

We also will focus on a number of skill sets that will be important throughout your college career and are important to professional biologists:
     1) critical thinking and writing skills for biology
     2) formulate questions and testable hypotheses
     3) graphing and analyzing data
     4) evaluating statistical and biological hypotheses
     5) working independently and in collaborations
     6) finding and reading primary literature
     7) presenting findings in written, poster and oral formats
Primarily these skills will be developed in the discussion section of the course, yet clearly linked to lectures as well.

Discussion sessions: The discussion sections are a critical component of this course. Discussion is intensive, and prepares you well for projects in upper division courses. During discussion is where we will build many of the tools of how scientists do science. Particularly we will spend time working on data analysis, presentation and scientific writing. Students will work both independently and in groups (as scientists do in their daily lives). In the discussion sections, we will investigate several research projects. We will develop skills for examining, visualizing and analyzing data. We will examine the primarily literature extensively and investigate published data.

Prerequisites for this course include Biology 111, Biology 111L, Biology 112 and Biology 112L. Successful completion of these courses is required for enrollment in 211.

Texts:  Biological Science 3rd edition, Freeman