Monday, February 26, 2007


Hi Everyone,

I had not realised that so many of the UWC students would opt for this course (at the end of the course I will let you into a secret)

Most of the course material is already prepared.

The official text book for the course is

Biodiversity II: Understanding and Protecting Our Biological Resources.

Marjorie L. Reaka-Kudla, Don E. Wilson, and Edward O. Wilson, Editors;

A Joseph Henry Press book.

We will provide a link for you to download an electronic copy - it has been made freely available to developing countries.

The Course will consist of:

  • An introduction and examination of the classification of organisms within one group - namely the Deuterstomia. We will look at construction of Taxonomic keys based on a representative group within this larger group.
  • Examination of how you can re-construct Biodiversity in the past. You will write a full- length essay on this topic.
  • Examination of the issues of Biodiversity, its value conservation and its influnce on policy, by way of online lectures and period quizzes.
  • Review of Peer-reviewed research in Biodiversity by way of preparing a Power Point Presentation.

  1. 20% Short Quizzes
  2. 30% Web blog contribution (Reconstructing Past Biodiversity and general reading and providing comments on other person's blog contributions)

  3. 30% A Power Point Presentation of Peer-reviewed Material

  4. 20% Construction of an Electronic Classification Key.

Course Outcomes

Appreciation that classification systems of biodiversity are neither static nor necessarily agreed upon by all researchers. Biological classifications very often remain highly controversial and evolving.

Develop insights into the construction of taxonomic keys and demonstrate an ability to build an electronic key.

Insights into past Biodiversity that has existed.

Understand the significance of biodiversity to conservation and economic systems.

Understand how biodiversity might be impacted by society issues, of increasing need for developement, global climate change (whether it is human-induced or not) and the introduction of invasive species.


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