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COURSE TITLE: Conservation Biology
NAME OF INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Vernon S. Peters
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3 (hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 1.5 - hrs lab 0)
CALENDAR DESCRIPTION: A discussion of the principles of conservation biology with applications to sustainable human society and biosphere integrity. This course develops the theoretical and applied basis for maintaining plant and animal populations considered endangered, threatened or at risk. It explores the complex factors contributing to the decline, extinction, or recovery of species. The course develops a stewardship perspective rooted in biological principles, and ethical, historical and economic considerations. Local, regional and global conservation strategies are discussed.

This course does not meet the natural science (with lab) breadth requirement.

Prerequisites: BIOL 330
  • Van Dyke, F. 2008. Conservation Biology: Foundations, Concepts, Applications. 2nd edition. Springer.
  • Reserve journal readings
Midterm 1 17.5%
Midterm 220%
Final Exam 17.5%
Term Project 15%
Reserve Reading and/or Practical Exercise Assignments 20%
Class and Seminar Participation 10%
  • To survey the major issues defining the discipline of Conservation Biology, including the value of, threats to, and conservation strategies for global biodiversity. 
  • To gain an understanding of the theoretical and applied basis for maintaining endangered populations.
  • To provide the background necessary for making reasoned decisions in applied ecology.  This includes reading policy issues from a conservation biology perspective.
  • To develop a stewardship perspective that is rooted in historical, ethical, biological and economic considerations.
  • History and Distinctions of Conservation Biology
  • Values and Ethics in Conservation
  • Conserving Populations
  • Legal Foundations – US; Canada; International
  • Biodiversity:  Measurement and Challenge
  • Biodiversity and Climate Change
  • Introduction to Genetic Diversity
  • Genetic Management for Conservation
  • Conserving Populations
  • Population Management and Restoration
  • Conservation of Habitat and Landscape
  • Ecosystem Management
  • Field Trip to Banff National Park
  • Conservation Economics (tentatively)
  • On Becoming a Conservation Biologist
  • Jack Miner and other colorful characters in the history of Canadian Conservation – Dr.Vern Peters, The King’s University 
  • Lab 1: Beaverhills Moraine and Nordic culture: Developing a Conservation Values Survey
  • Species at Risk Legislation and Species Recovery Planning, Mrs Robin Gutsell, Alberta Government, Mrs Susan Peters, Alberta Conservation Association
  • Forest management and owl conservation – Does old growth matter? Dr. Gordon Court – Alberta Government
  • Conservation Genetics of Barren’s Ground Caribou, Dr. Keri MacFarlane
  • Christians in conservation: Case studies from A Rocha and Au Sable
  • Conservation in Parks and Protected Areas, Dr. Joyce Gould, Parks Canada
  • Pelts and Politics – Bison Conservation, Dr. Lu Carbyn, Canadian Wildlife Service
  • Conservation Partnerships in our Backyard – NGO’s, Industry, and Private Land (Golden Ranches), Dr. Todd Zimmerling – President ACA
  • Field Trip to Banff National Park (with ENVS 410)

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