Maria Ursula Valdez
B CUSP 140
Offers introductory practice in laboratory and quantitative techniques, a history of one or more of the sciences, and reflection on the relationship between science and its function in the larger society. Topics vary. Offered: AWSp.
Endangered Species and Ecosystems of the world The conditions of planet Earth have changed along its geological history and these changes have affected the evolution of every species that has lived at some point on it. Geological changes and evolutionary processes, as well as ecological mechanisms have given origin to the diverse assemblage of biomes and species that have occurred in the planet. Scientists have found evidence of 5 events along the history of the planet, in which environmental conditions changed dramatically and consequently thousands of species went extinct. Currently, scientists say that we are experiencing the 6th mass extinction, as thousands of species of animals, plants and other living organisms are disappearing at alarming rates. Sadly, the reason behind this current extinction event is attributed to the effect of intense human impacts on ecosystems and species. This class will focus on topics related to the background and current extinction of species and ecosystems, as well as the impact that these losses have in the life of humans and other living organisms.
Student learning goals
Students will gain an understanding of the evolutionary and ecological processes that have shaped the diversity of living species of the world, as well as the conservation issues around them.
Students will gain and understanding of the background extinction and current reasons of endangerment of species and ecosystems.
Students will gain skills on finding, reviewing and analysing the scientific literature about the topics covered in class.
Students will improve skills on report writing and oral communication, as well as using alternative and creative ways to communicate science to larger audiences.
Students will also focus on the discussion of potential solutions to the problem of extinction of species and ecosystems
General method of instruction
short lectures, student seminars, videos and reading discussions, group project, creative piece to communicate to larger audiences
Read about current information on endangered species or ecosystems. A highly recommended reading is "The Sixth Extinction" by Elizabeth Kolbert
Class assignments and grading
Seminars, discussions, essays, group project, creative piece
A total of 300 points can be achieved, grades are assigned based on the percentage obtained. Refer to UW grade percentage for details