Climate change, human population growth (7 billion and growing), and globalization among others are having dramatic effects on plant and animal species, their habitats, and ecosystems. One major effect is the loss of biodiversity, with thousands of species becoming extinct every year. Conservation biology aims to alleviate this loss of biodiversity by understanding the impacts that humans have on biodiversity and drawing from multiple fields including ecology, evolution, economics, and resource management to generate conservation solutions. The goal of this course is to provide students with a comprehensive view of the principles of conservation biology, the value of biodiversity, the threats to biodiversity, and the approaches to solve conservation issues. Among the topics covered are the history of conservation biology; patterns and processes of biodiversity; environmental economics; conservation ethics; extinction; habitat destruction, fragmentation, and degradation; climate change; overexploitation; invasive species; disease; conservation genetics; conservation of populations, species, and ecosystems; protected areas; restoration; sustainable development; and future challenges.
Undergraduate students must have completed at least 120 ECTS.
- Students will gain a solid understanding of conservation biology both from an Icelandic and international perspective.
- Students will be exposed to multiple disciplines including ecology, economics, genetics, and resource management and learn various tools to address conservation problems.
- Students will be able to develop project frameworks, identify problems and data gaps, develop research questions and objectives, critically synthesize literature, and put forward solutions.
- Students will be able to convey information to variety of stakeholders (e.g., the public, government officials, and scientists).